Pardew expects an entertaining game as Newcastle host Manchester United

Alan Pardew is expecting a wide open game as his Newcastle side host a strong Manchester United squad, in a game centered around defensive worry but likely to feature much creativity and flair.

Newcastle go into the game without their first choice goalkeeper Tim Krul, who is still ruled out through injury, as are  their captain Fabrico Coloccini and fellow centre-back Steven Taylor.

But Pardew recognises that Manchester United's defence won't be at full strength either. He told Newcastle's official website: "Manchester United have had defensive issues and they've got injuries in that area, with [Nemanja] Vidic and [Phil] Jones," he said, adding: "You cannot imagine it's going to be 0-0.

"I'm sure Sir Alex will have worked on his back four, as we have, to make sure they are as drilled as possible.

"But with such brilliant flair players on the pitch as [Wayne] Rooney, [Javier] Hernandez, [Robin] van Persie, Demba Ba, Papiss [Cisse] and [Hatem] Ben Arfa, you can't expect it to be anything but an entertaining game."

Both teams come into the game following midweek victories in Europe, Newcastle having beaten Bordeaux 3-0 at home in the Europa League, while Manchester United came from 1-0 down in Romania to turn their game around, winning 2-1 against Cluj and claiming all three points in a Champions League clash.

The two Uniteds kick off at 4pm on Sunday at the Sports Direct Arena.

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