Premier League Preview: Man United v Newcastle

Louis van Gaal is demanding a dominant display from his Manchester United side when Newcastle United visit Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

United have won seven and drawn one of their eight games on home soil since losing 2-1 to Swansea City on the Premier League's opening day.

Six victories on the spin helped Van Gaal's side climb comfortably into the top four, though their momentum was checked by a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa last time out.

Newcastle were one of seven away teams to win a Premier League game at Old Trafford last season in a stuttering campaign under David Moyes, and Van Gaal is keen to continue banishing the memories of those home failings.

"We want to build a fortress at Old Trafford," he said on Tuesday.

"We have made it that already because we have won a lot, and with great results. 

"We have to continue, but there are no easy games in the Premier League.

"My record in away matches as a coach is not so bad. Away, teams are more open and want to attack but here they want to defend. 

"That is why we have to build up a certain playing style so we can dominate. 

"I'm saying every week that we are dominating for 45 or 60 minutes. We have to dominate for 90 minutes."

Chris Smalling could return from a groin injury but Luke Shaw (ankle), Marcos Rojo (thigh) are still missing from Van Gaal's defence, while the midfield will be without Marouane Fellaini (illness) and Daley Blind (knee).

The festive period gives little time for recovery and, though Van Gaal revealed certain members of his squad are excited by the prospect of playing three games in six days, he is not convinced.

He added: "For a few players it is fun because they are recovering quickly.

"You also have players who are not recovering so quickly, so I have to rotate. I have a lot of injured players, this is the problem with these matches."

Newcastle's up-and-down campaign hit another low point at the weekend as they went down 1-0 to Sunderland, their fourth consecutive Tyne-Wear derby defeat secured by Adam Johnson in the 90th minute.

After a testing start to the campaign, six wins on the bounce in all competitions eased Tyneside tensions.

However, Sunday's loss was Newcastle's third in succession and manager Alan Pardew is seeking a strong response from his men.

Pardew said: "We have good spirit and character in the squad. 

"In terms of how we lost the [Sunderland] game, if we were going to lose a game, I’d rather we lost it like that. 

"We tried to win it, and that ambition won't leave this team because we have a good spirit and we never give in. 

"We have to move on, it's as simple as that. We can't dwell on it. It was a performance that was pretty good, but it wasn't enough."

First-choice goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot remain injured, but Pardew is optimistic about the pair's recovery, with playmaker Siem de Jong also closing in on a first appearance since his pre-season move from Ajax.

Pardew will have to find a replacement for Chieck Tiote in midfield after the Ivorian picked up his fifth booking of the season against Sunderland.