Match Preview: Manchester United – Sunderland

After a two game road trip ending disappointingly in a 2-1 defeat to Swansea, Manchester United welcome Sunderland in another important weekend in the battle for a place in the top four. Elsewhere Arsenal entertain Everton and Liverpool face Man City on Sunday.

United’s defeat against Swansea was disappointing in many aspects – chances created, style of play and defensive performance. Now the Devils return to their fortress – Old Trafford, where the team has dropped points only on two occasions. There is no margin for error with difference being only four points between 3rd and 7th. So this is a perfect opportunity for Untied to start another unbeaten run.

Struggling Sunderland have picked only four wins in total all season long, two of them coming away. Deemed to be the draw specialists, every point is vital for the Black Cats in the relegation scrap battle. Sunderland have lived up to their nickname recently, having picked up four points in the last two fixtures between the two teams. They have also beaten us in the League Cup Semi-finals last year. Added motivation for LVG and his men to get back to winning ways.

Injury News

Michael Carrick is back in training but lacks match fitness and may not be risked. Robin Van Persie will miss the next four games due to ankle problems. James Wilson has been passed fit after suffering a dead leg in the U21s game on Monday

Emanuele Giacherinni is the only long term injury for Sunderland, being out until the end of the season. Jack Rodwell, Will Buckley and Billy Jones are also out with minor problems.

Predicted Line-ups:

Manchester United (4-4-2): DDG; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Blind, Januzaj, Herrera, Mata; Rooney-Falcao

Sunderland (4-4-2): Pantilimon; Vergini, Brown, O’Shea, Réveillère; Alvarez,Larsson, Cattermole, Johnson; Wickham, Defoe

Last Meeting: Sunderland-Manchester United 1:1

Mata opened the scoring with Jack Rodwell equalising with a headed finish. Disappointing performance from United early in the season. LVG will hope for much improved showing this time around with games coming thick and fast.

Score Prediction: Manchester United – Sunderland 3:0

United are solid at home and I reckon improved performance results in comfortable win. Hopefully Wayne Rooney will back among the goals as well.

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