Caretaker manager Alan Ball will be in two minds about this one; on the one side, Manchester United have been well beaten in half of all their league games this season, and have made their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
On the other hand, Sunderland are rock bottom, without a win and the old adage that says United are at there most dangerous when wounded.
Whichever way he does look at it, he will have to look at it without striker Steven Fletcher, former United defender Wes Brown, and Andrea Dossena. It has to be said these aren’t the three players you would want missing as a team of new recruits are struggling to gel under new circumstances.
David Moyes on the other hand, has a fully fit squad to choose from. Wayne Rooney is expected to be fit again, as is Rio Ferdinand, but the latter is expected to be dropped. Tom Cleverley will be pushing for a start in midfield after an impressive midweek display saw him turn in an 86 per cent pass completion rate.
Nothing less than a win will do for Manchester United and they are favourites to take all three points but should expect a spirited resistance from a Sunderland side with a point to prove.
The Stadium of Light doesn’t hold happy memories for most of the United squad, Phil Jones especially. The memories of the minutes news filtered through that Manchester City had won the title in extra time, on goal difference last year as United were ready to celebrate a 13th Premier League title after a Rooney goal gave them a 1-0 win, will be burned into the memories of many.
Statistics (via FourFourTwo)
If Manchester United lose tomorrow it will be the third league game in row they have lost - something that hasn’t happened since 2001.
Moyes has a good managerial record against Sunderland – W11 D4 L1.
Sunderland haven’t scored more than one goal in any of their last 11 matches.
Manchester United have only conceded four goals in their last 11 games against Sunderland.
Half the goals which Sunderland have conceded this term have come in the last 15 minutes – a Premier League high.
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