Man Utd have worrying Bruno Fernandes issue in Newcastle and Chelsea clashes

Ten Hag defends under-fire Onana ahead of Newcastle v Man Utd

Manchester United have a worrying Bruno Fernandes issue ahead of tonight’s daunting trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United. Erik ten Hag is clouded with a significant concern about his captain just four days before Chelsea visit Old Trafford in another huge Premier League game.

United travel to Tyneside as the Premier League’s form team, having won five of their last six such games to move within six points of leaders Arsenal.

But Newcastle have been formidable on home turf this season, putting five past Aston Villa and beating Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain 4-1.

Fernandes will be crucial if United are to take anything from St James’, as he so often is as Ten Hag’s captain.

The 29-year-old has produced five goal contributions in as many games since his dramatic late winner against Fulham at the start of November.

His latest contributions came in Istanbul in midweek, providing the assist for Alejandro Garnacho’s opener before netting a sensational long-range strike moments later.

However, Fernandes may not be able to wear his heart on his sleeve as usual because he’s walking on thin ice.

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The Portuguese maestro has received four yellow cards in the 13 Premier League games this season, meaning he is one away from suspension.

Players are handed a one-match domestic ban if they accumulate five yellow cards in the first 19 league games of the campaign.

Fernandes was booked away at Tottenham Hotspur, in the next game at home against Nottingham Forest, and against Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City, also at Old Trafford.

He will need to behave himself against Newcastle. If the Red Devils skipper enters the referee’s book, he will miss Wednesday’s clash with Chelsea.

Three of Fernandes’ four Premier bookings this term have been for fairly needless arguments, two of which occurred deep in stoppage time.

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The other was for a foul, also late in the first half, as United trailed Brighton 1-0, which ended in a 3-1 defeat.

Fernandes is among Europe’s best midfielders in terms of quality but has regularly tabled criticism for his attitude when things are going against Ten Hag’s side.

And the visitors could have their backs against the wall at Newcastle tonight if Eddie Howe orchestrates another dominant home display.

United host AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford next weekend, a more favourable fixture than their upcoming two.

If Fernandes escapes a booking at St James’, it wouldn’t be surprising to see disciplinary strategy come into play against Chelsea.

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