Sir Alex Ferguson is certain to make changes for Manchester United's Boxing Day encounter with Newcastle.

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United's failure to beat Swansea on Sunday saw their advantage in the Premier League title race trimmed to four points.

Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Darren Fletcher will be amongst those hoping to be involved, whilst Rafael needs to shrug off the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Liberty Stadium encounter.

Man United (from): Lindegaard, De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck, Rooney, Van Persie.

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be without midfielder Cheick Tiote.

The Ivory Coast international collected his fifth booking of the season during Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over QPR and is suspended.

Otherwise, Pardew will have only his long-term absentees missing for the game at Old Trafford, with Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor (both hamstring), Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Ryan Taylor (knee) sidelined.

Newcastle (from): Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, Santon, Ferguson, Tavernier, Coloccini, Williamson, Perch, Anita, Bigirimana, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Obertan, Ba, Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Ranger.