Manchester United v Sunderland;
Barclays Premier League;
Sat, 5th Nov; 1500 KO
Nemanja Vidic is set to make a long-awaited return for Manchester United after recovering from injury. Michael Owen (thigh), Chris Smalling (foot) and Tom Cleverley (ankle) are all out of contention.
David Vaughan will be given a late fitness test for Sunderland as he recovers from a groin injury, while Simon Mignolet and John O’Shea both miss out.
Bruce credits Fergie greatness
Steve Bruce is feeling just a tad nostalgic as Sunderland take on Manchester United this weekend, and Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates 25 years in charge at Old Trafford.
Ferguson signed Bruce in 1987 from Norwich City, and the defender quickly became one of the best to ever represent the backline in United's history. Bruce made over 300 appearances for the club, and his partnership with Gary Pallister is regarded by many as even superior to that of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
And as Bruce prepares to face his old manager and mastermind, he has revealed what many were aware of already; that when Ferguson gets angry, players have no choice but to react and give above and beyond for the club.
“If you couldn’t stand up to him and his demands, and many a player couldn’t, then you couldn’t play for Man United,” he explained.
“That was his mentality, to have people around him who were born winners, like he was. He wanted people to respond to it and react to it rather than shrink from it.
“He would just shout right in your face. We all answered him back, but there was only ever one winner – him, and rightly so. For all of us who had it, you just accepted it. It made you better and it made you stronger.”
Bruce is the first to say that Ferguson’s achievements at United are fantastic, and unlikely to be surpassed by any other manager in Britain.
"You would have to say now that he has surpassed all the greats in the game,” he said.
“There will never be another manager like him as far as I am concerned. He is out on his own as the best there has ever been.
"What he has done at Old Trafford is quite incredible.
“To be in charge of a club of United’s stature for so long is an unbelievable feat in itself but that have the success that they have had is quite staggering.”
While Bruce is hoping that he can defeat his mentor on Saturday, he hinted that the Black Cats taking three points from the match will be a particularly hard feat.
"It’s quite ironic that I could be a bit of a party-pooper this weekend but I haven’t been able to beat him since I left United and went into management,” the manager admitted.