Manchester United can re-cement their place in the top four of the Premier League when they take on a Sunderland side with only one win in eight games.
The luck finally ran out for the Red Devils in their last outing as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Swansea City. They may have had most of the possession in the second half, but the result came following a run of only two defeats in 20 games, achieved despite a series of below-par performances.
Robin van Persie continues to appear cumbersome in attack alongside the goal-shy Radamel Falcao, while Angel Di Maria’s recent displays have not been befitting of a player signing for nearly £60m. On a positive note, Ander Herrera is showing signs that he could turn into a quality midfielder for the club.
Gustavo Poyet was able to point to a couple of controversial decisions from the officials to account for his Sunderland side’s failure to win at home to West Bromwich Albion. Anyhow, it was another disappointing effort from a team that has found wins frustratingly hard to come by all season.
They will be hopeful of emulating last season’s excellent 1-0 success at Old Trafford – one of wins which led to their great escape – but the Black Cats seem to almost totally lack inspiration, with supporters questioning the style of football under Poyet and the constant absence of creativity from midfield.
This game may come too soon for Michael Carrick, but Man Utd are likely to have van Persie available along with fellow striker James Wilson.
Sunderland will assess Jack Rodwell and Billy Jones, but will be without Emanuele Giaccherini for up to 12 weeks due to an ankle injury.
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