After the thrilling finish, at the Etihad Stadium, last time out, Manchester United moved six points clear of Manchester City, at the top of the table. Tomorrow, when troubled Sunderland visit Old Trafford, United fans will be hoping that another win can keep the pressure heaped on our main title rivals. But as we`ve found out so many times, let`s not count our chickens before they`ve hatched.
Ahead of the fixture, Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken about his squad for the fixture and in particular the return of Vidic and Kagawa, remarking to the media,
“Nemanja Vidic is back in the squad tomorrow. Jonny Evans is out with the hamstring injury from last week. Chris Smalling came on and did very well. Shinji Kagawa is back in training and doing very well. Nani is still out.”
“It`s a big, big win to have him back in the squad – his ability to head the ball, his captaincy. We hope we`ve given him the proper rehab. We`ll give him a chance and we hope he sails through it.
“I don`t know whether he will start tomorrow – he`s only played about ten games in the last 12 months, which is not like Nemanja.”
Let`s hope Vidic can steer clear of injury.
Manchester United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson, with his defence have been suspect all season, will be glad that he is able to recall his captain, Nemanja Vidic, after the Serbian has been absent for the last three months with a knee injury. Vidic is likely to come in for Jonny Evans who has a hamstring problem.
Elsewhere, Nani and Anderson are ruled out by injury although Anders Lindegaard, who missed the last fixture as his wife was giving birth to their first child, congratulations by the way, is available again.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Suddenly back in a rich vein of scoring, long may it continue.
Sunderland Team News:
Martin O`Neil, who saw his side earn a rare win in midweek, when the beat Reading, arrives with his squad, at Old Trafford, with Lee Cattermole ruled out with a long term injury, whilst there are also doubts about Adam Johnson and Danny Rose, the former suffering with a dead leg and the latter with an ankle problem.
However, O`Neil will be hoping that his top-scorer, Steven Fletcher, will be available again after missing recent games with an ankle problem.
Player to watch: Sessegnon
Probably the best player Sunderland have, by a country mile.
Match Facts & Stats
Ahead of the fixture, here are a few stats to mull over;-
1 – United`s recent record over Sunderland is exemplary with United not having tasted defeat in the last 20 encounters. In fact Sunderland have now gone 5 league games without scoring against us.
2 – It is 25 years since Sunderland last won at Old Trafford, their last win coming back in May 1968. Since then they`ve lost 16 and drawn 9.
Our officials are:-
Referee – C. Foy
Assistant – S. Child
Assistant – H. Lennard
Fourth Official – A. Taylor
After that last gasp win, at the Etihad Stadium, the spirit in the camp should be high, even more so with the news filtering through that our club captain, Nemanja Vidic, should be making a return. Throw into the melting pot Sunderland`s poor run of form, although credit should be given to them for their recent demolition of Reading, and I can`t see anything other than a United win, probably by two goals or possibly more.
Our next Premier League fixture is a difficult one when we visit, next Sunday, the Liberty Stadium to play Swansea City