Rooney Smalling Manchester United
Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling celebrate a goal against Bayer Leverkusen, November 27. Rooney will miss the game against Newcastle through suspension.Reuters

David Moyes and his Manchester United side have been stuck in a bunker for much of the English Premier League season so far. Try as they might to dig themselves out, or make a jump for it, they find themselves in the same place they had started.

The loss to Everton, Moyes' former side, the team he managed for 11 long years, would have been extremely jarring; and the sooner Manchester United and their new manager put that behind them, the better.

The spade work to get out of that bunker begin early on Saturday as the reigning Premier League champions host Newcastle, a side which have won four of their last five matches.

"I understand the fans' concerns," Moyes said. "They want their team to win. I do as well. We need to try to improve how we are playing. We need to try to improve our results.

"We have had some good results, as you have rightly said. We have been on a decent run. We would like it to be better. We will have to go on another one."

The run that Moyes was talking about was punctuated with too many draws, however, and if United, currently 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, do want to make a serious crack at defending their title, then the next run that they go on, starting with Newcastle, will need to be almost all wins.

"We have not had the consistency I hoped we would have," Moyes admitted. "There have been some games where we have played really well, there have been others where we have been a little bit slack at times. That happens. When people go into new jobs it can take a little bit of time to settle in. We will get it right. I am sure of that."

For Newcastle, who saw their manager Alan Pardew and goalkeeper win Premier League awards, it will be about bouncing back from the loss suffered at Swansea on Wednesday, which saw the Magpies' brilliant four-match winning run come to an end.

Old Trafford has not been the cauldron that every Premier League team dreads to play in this season, and Pardew, no doubt, will ask his players to play with confidence and verve, similar to the one shown by Everton in their 1-0 win on Wednesday.

Team news: Manchester United: As if things weren't bad already, Moyes will be without Wayne Rooney for the Newcastle match with the England international suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Everton.

Robin Van Persie remains a doubt with a groin problem, and Moyes will be hoping, rather praying, the Dutchman is passed fit for today's match. Michael Carrick remains sidelined, while Phil jones returns from suspension, but Shinji Kagawa is a doubt through illness.

Newcastle: Pardew does not have too many worries, with Hatem Ben Arfa expected to be available after missing the Swansea game through illness.

Manchester United: With Rooney suspended, and Van Persie a big doubt, the onus will be on Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck to score the goals.

Newcastle: Shola Ameobi has shown good form this season, albeit without too many goals, and his physicality is likely to cause the United defence some problems.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 6.15 pm IST start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. You can also watch the action via live streaming by clicking HERE. To catch the action in the U.S., click HERE. Viewers in the U.K., can click HERE. For live streaming in the Middle East and North Africa, click HERE.

Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Smalling, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Jones, Cleverley; Valencia, Welbeck, Januzaj; Hernandez.

Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Tiote, Cabaye; Gouffran, Sissoko, Remy; Ameobi.

Prediction: 2-1 to Manchester United