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PREVIEW: Manchester United v Sunderland

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 3rd May 2014 – KO 15:00 GMT

Referee: Howard Webb, Assistants: D Cann and S Massey, Fourth Official: A Marriner

Manchester United play their penultimate match at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Sunderland, who escaped from the relegation zone last weekend will have a tough visit to the Theatre of Dreams, where many still remember what their fans did on the final day of the season of the 2011/12 campaign. This time it is United who could have the last laugh by plunging them back into the relegation zone, should at least two of the bottom three teams win of course. Ryan Giggs, United’s interim manager did well in his first match last weekend at Old Trafford, it took a while for the goals to come, but United beat Norwich City 4-0, meaning that relegation could also loom for them this season, goodbye Delia.

United will be up for beating Sunderland, as they have a great record against the Black Cats winning 10 matches and drawing twice in the matches played in the Barclays Premier League. United did lose to Sunderland on penalties in the Capital One Cup in January, which was a very poor showing from the Red Devils. Ryan Giggs seems to have everything working well at the club right now and with only Rafael da Silva still on the sidelines, he nearly has a full squad at his disposal. This weekend could also see the return of Robin van Persie, which despite what you have been reading in the newspapers, it has been the right amount of time he has spent on the sidelines with his knee injury and he is not jus all of a sudden ready to play now David Moyes has been sacked.

Campo

Manchester United Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2013/14 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 35 matches, won 18, drawn 6, lost 11 and currently have 60 points

Scored 60 goals (1.71 goals per match) & conceded 40 goals (1.14 goals per match) – 5 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 7 matches

Clean sheet record 37%

Sunderland Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2013/14 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 35 matches, won 8, drawn 8, lost 19 and currently have 32 points

Scored 37 goals (1.06 goal per match) & conceded 57 goals (1.63 goals per match) – 6 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 4 matches

Clean sheet record 26%

Top Scorers (all competitions):

Manchester United: 19 – Wayne Rooney, 17 – Robin van Persie, 10 – Danny Welbeck, 9 – Javier Hernandez, 5 – Juan Mata, 4 – Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, 3 – Patrice Evra, Own Goal, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, 2 – Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, 1 – Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Nani, Fabio da Silva

Sunderland: 10 – Adam Johnson, 8 – Fabio Borini, 7 – Connor Wickham, 5 – Emanuele Giaccherini, 4 – Phil Bardsley, Ki Sung-Yueng, 3 – Steven Fletcher, Craig Gardner, 2 – Jozy Altidore, Jack Colback, Own Goal, 1 – El-Hadji Ba, Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Larsson, Charis Mavrias, John O’Shea, Valentin Roberge

Manchester United Form: – WLLWDW

Last six matches: Norwich City 4-0 W, Everton 2-0 L, Bayern Munich 3-1 L, Newcastle United 4-0 W, Bayern Munich 1-1 D, Aston Villa 4-1 W

Sunderland: – WWDLLL

Last six matches: Cardiff City 4-0 W, Chelsea 2-1 W, Manchester City 2-2 D, Everton 1-0 L, Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 L, West Ham United 2-1 L

Head to Head:

Played twelve matches at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 10, Drawn 2, Lost 0 – Scored 28 goals, conceded 5 goals and kept 8 clean sheets

Sunderland: Won 0, Drawn 2, Lost 10 – Scored 5 goals, conceded 28 goals and kept 1 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Ryan Giggs

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 40. Ben Amos;

Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Patrice Evra, 4. Phil Jones, 5. Rio Ferdinand, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 15. Nemanja Vidic, 28. Alexander Büttner, 30. Guillermo Varela;

Midfielders: 8. Juan Mata, 11. Ryan Giggs, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Nani, 18. Ashley Young, 23. Tom Cleverley, 24. Darren Fletcher, 25. Antonio Valencia, 26. Shinji Kagawa, 31. Marouane Fellaini, 44. Adnan Januzaj;

Strikers: 10. Wayne Rooney, 14. Javier Hernandez, 19. Danny Welbeck, 20. Robin van Persie, 47. James Wilson

Doubts/Injuries: 2. Rafael da Silva (hamstring), 20. Robin van Persie (knee) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Sunderland Squad:

Manager: Gus Poyet

Goalkeepers: 13. Jordan Pickford, 20. Keiren Westwood, 25. Vito Mannone, 32. Oscar Ustari;

Defenders: 2. Phil Bardsley, 3. Andrea Dossena, 5. Wes Brown, 12. Ondřej Čelůstka, 16. John O’Shea, 24. Carlos Cuéllar, 27. Santiago Vergini, 28. Marcos Alonso, 29. Valentin Roberge;

Midfielders: 4. Ki Sung-Yueng, 7. Sebastian Larsson, 8. Craig Gardner, 11. Adam Johnson, 14. Jack Colback, 22. El-Hadji Ba, 23. Emanuele Giaccherini, 26. Liam Bridcutt, 33. Lee Cattermole, 35. Charis Mavrias;

Strikers: 9. Steven Fletcher, 10. Connor Wickham, 17. Jozy Altidore, 30. Ignacio Scocco, 31. Fabio Borini

Doubts/Injuries: 4. Ki Sung-Yueng (knee), 9. Steven Fletcher (ankle/foot), 20. Kieren Westwood (shoulder), 24. Carlos Cuéllar (hamstring) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Sunderland Preview XI

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 4-0 Sunderland

By Paul Bienkowski

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