In case you didn’t know, Jose Mourinho has lost his job as Manchester United boss.
The decision came after the Red Devils lost to major rivals Liverpool, leaving them in sixth place and 11 points behind fourth place.
Former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been brought in until the end of the season.
But where do Newcastle come into all of this?
Mourinho misses out on chance to extend St James’ Park record
Newcastle’s first game of 2019 will see Manchester United arrive at St James’ Park. It’ll be a difficult start to the year for the Magpies, but they did have one thing in their favour ahead of their opening game.
Mourinho has never won a Premier League game at St James’ Park. That is an incredible stat considering the teams he’s brought to the North East over the years.
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Luck is always on Newcastle’s side, so they will have fancied their chances on January 2nd.
However, now that the Special One has gone, that luck disappears. The game against Manchester United suddenly looks like a very daunting prospect, providing Solskjaer gets some sort of new manager bounce.
Last season, Newcastle kick-started their season with a win against Mourinho’s side. Matt Ritchie scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win. It was the debut of Martin Dubravka, and he’s never looked back since.
The Magpies will need a similar level of performance on January 2nd, and they can no longer rely on the Mourinho factor.