Fit-again Paul Pogba pushing for Man United start after impressing in Watford loss

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Paul Pogba is pushing for a starting role when Manchester United host Newcastle on Boxing Day.

The 26-year-old impressed off the bench in Sunday’s defeat at Watford as he returned from an ankle injury that has kept the France midfielder out since September.

Axel Tuanzebe did not feature at Vicrarage Road through injury so is a doubt. Diogo Dalot, sidelined for two months, is closing in on a return and played 72 minutes for United’s youth team on Friday, while fellow defenders Eric Bailly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcos Rojo continue to build fitness.

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce has doubts over Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems for the trip to Old Trafford.

Defender Dummett picked up a groin problem during Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, a game wing-back Willems sat out with a knee injury.

Bruce is still without defenders Jamaal Lascelles (fractured tibia) and Ciaran Clark (calf), midfielders Matt Ritchie (ankle) and Ki Sung-yueng (illness) and striker Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring).

Manchester United provisional squad: De Gea, Romero, Grant, Kovar, Wan-Bissaka, Dalot, Young, Jones, Lindelof, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Shaw, Williams, Laird, Fred, Garner, Gomes, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Pereira, James, Mata, Lingard, Chong, Greenwood, Martial, Rashford.

Newcastle provisional squad: Dubravka, Darlow, Manquillo, Dummett, Willems, Yedlin, Krafth, Fernandez, Schar, Lejeune, Shelvey, Hayden, S. Longstaff, M. Longstaff, Atsu, Almiron, Joelinton, Carroll, Gayle, Muto.

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