Match Preview: Sunderland vs Manchester United (League Cup Semi Final First Leg)

After crashing out of the FA Cup on Sunday with yet another home defeat this time at the hands of Swansea, Moyes and his men will hope they fair a little better in the other domestic cup and take a step towards Wembley with a win at the Stadium of Light.

KO: 19:45 BST
Venue: The Stadium of Light
Date: 7th January 2014

Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and David de Gea are all set to return after sitting out Sunday’s shock FA Cup home defeat by Swansea.

Robin van Persie (thigh) and Phil Jones (knee) are unlikely to be involved. Marouane Fellaini (wrist), Ashley Young (shoulder) and Nani (hamstring) are definitely out, Fabio starts a three-match ban and Rio Ferdinand faces a spell on the sidelines after injuring his knee at the weekend.

Darren Fletcher’s brilliant performance in the FA Cup defeat to Swansea should mean Moyes makes room for the Scotsman in the starting line up along side the returning Michael Carrick in the centre of the park in place of Tom Cleverley, who has disappointed lately with a string of poor performances.

Adnan Januzaj could also return to the starting line up in place for Shinji Kagawa who again failed to show his worth in the last outing.

Antonio Valencia will hope to make the starting line up and will look to rekindle the form seen prior to his recent suspension.

Sunderland’s only injury concern was former United man John O’Shea however he looks likely to return from a shoulder injury which has kept him sidelined for the last four games. Fellow defenders Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite have recovered from knocks, but goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and defender Carlos Cuellar remain on the sidelines.

See our predicted line-ups here.

With a place at Wembley at stake, Moyes will be sure to take this game seriously, and field a full strength line up as he looks to make his first domestic cup final in his tenure at United. A convincing win here will ease the pressure on the return leg at Old Trafford and may ease the pressure on Moyes which has been mounting after recent performances.

Score prediction: Sunderland 0-2 United

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Patrick Hickey – 21 year old blogger for Old Trafford Faithful.

One Love Manchester United

Twitter @patrickmhickey