The Capital One Cup semi final first leg between Sunderland and Manchester United will kick off tonight at the Stadium of Light.

Both teams will welcome a break from the Premier League in which Sunderland and Manchester United were both defeated by Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

In fact Sunderland legend Michael Gray told reporters: "Personally I would take winning the Capital One Cup and getting relegated than not winning it and staying up.

"Silverware is important for any club. Cup finals and trophies are written into the history of clubs and that can never be taken away from them."

Black Cats fans will hope that this isn't the choice they will have to take but a major trophy for Sunderland in Gus Poyet's maiden year would be a fantastic return for the side.

Manchester United in contrast will want to relieve some of the pressure on David Moyes with a convincing performance away from home this evening.

Red Devils icon Gary Pallister insisted the Capital One Cup is a competition worth winning stating: "No matter what people say, a season that finishes with a trophy in the cabinet is a successful season.

"Sir Alex made that very clear, if you finish a season with a trophy to your name the team has been a success.”

Moyes will be preparing his side for their third game in a week but with key players rested last time out in the FA Cup defeat to Swansea, the team can have no excuses with the result in this upcoming first leg tie.

Pallister commenting on Moyes' ambitions added: "Despite being a huge talent, Moyes is yet to win any major silverware, so I have no doubt that he will want to put that straight this season in charge of Manchester United.”

Sunderland beat Chelsea and Manchester United defeated Stoke City to reach this stage of the competition.

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