Man United target quick response

Manchester United will look to begin 2012 in positive fashion when they travel to the Sports Direct Arena on Wednesday to face Newcastle.

The gloomy looking boss...

Sir Alex Ferguson's side slumped to a surprising 3-2 defeat to lowly Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve amid more unwanted headlines regarding star striker Wayne Rooney.

The Manchester United forward was reportedly left out of the match entirely as part of a punishment for ill-advised conduct on Boxing Day night.

The club are still sticking to their story that Rooney missed the defeat by Blackburn on Saturday through injury rather than for disciplinary reasons, but whatever the case Ferguson would have been alarmed at the manner in which his United side conceded sloppy goals to the relelgation candidates.

Wednesday's trip to seventh-placed Newcastle should provided a stern test for the Red Devils who still have a whole host of injury problems to contend with including Nemanja Vidic, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Michael Owen and Jonny Evans.

However, Ferguson is expected to have Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney available for Wednesday's game while Chris Smalling is only rated as having an outside chance of a return.

Meanwhile, Toon boss Alan Pardew is confident Gabriel Obertan will not miss out on a reunion with his former team-mates and Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote will be available despite their Africa Cup of Nations commitments.

United begin Wednesday's game three points off the Barclays Premier League summit following Manchester City's 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool.

In Wednesday's only other game, Everton host rock-bottom Bolton with the chance of moving into the top half of the table with a victory. David Moyes' side head into the match with an attack boosted by the return of Victor Anichebe, who was the match-winner against West Brom on Sunday, as well as new loan signing Landon Donovan.

In contrast, Bolton's season continues to go from bad to worse after manager Owen Coyle revealed that their best defend Gary Cahill is on the verge of completing his switch to Chelsea.

Wednesday's Premier League Fixtures

Newcastle vs Man United

De Gea: Mistakes are part of the game

United's Jones loving life at the top

Everton vs Bolton

Coyle expects Cahill to join Chelsea

Moyes cautious of Bolton upset

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