After the midweek delights of the Champions League, it`s a return to the bread and butter of the Premier League this Saturday when we welcome Sunderland to Old Trafford. With Manchester City having edged ahead in the Premier League title race, there will be no time for sentiment as we welcome the return of a whole host of ex-United players in the Sunderland squad. With the celebrations relating to Sir Alex Ferguson completing twenty-five years in charge of our famous club, we reckon Sir Alex will view three points as the ideal present to celebrate his marvelous reign.
Wayne Rooney, expected to return to his natural striker`s role, has commented on his dropping back into midfield for the last two games, has spoken about how he perceives his future, commenting,
“It is probably a role I could enjoy in the future when I lose a bit of pace.”
“It`s a role the manager needs me to do at the minute and I enjoy it. I played there as a young lad. Having watched my team-mates I understand the role.”
United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson is certain to shuffle his pack, again, for the visit of Sunderland. The expansive squad a this disposal allows this although, at the time of writing, there are injury concerns over Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling, Ryan Giggs, Rafael de Silva, Michael Owen and Ashley Young.
One question concerning team selection, relates to Wayne Rooney. Having played Wayne in the centre of the park in the last two matches, is it something Sir Alex will persevere with or will he opt to return Wayne to his more accustomed strikers` role?
Taking a pure guess at the anticipated starting eleven, I`ll go for:-
De Gea, Jones, Vidic, Evans, Fabio, Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck
Player to watch: De Gea
Our Spanish keeper has settled down now and those error strewn early days are a distant memory. Hopefully, Sunderland won`t present too much of a threat but if they do manage anything on target when we recon De Gea will cope admirably
Sunderland Team News:
Steve Bruce brings his Sunderland squad to Old Trafford with a couple of injury concerns.
Manchester United old boy, John O`Shea, will miss out playing against his former team mates whilst the ‘Black Cats` will also be without Simon Mignolet.
David Vaughan, a recent signing from Blackpool, will be subjected to a fitness test.
Kieron Richardson and Wes Brown are both likely to play against their former club.
Player to watch: Lee Cattermole
Feisty to say the least! When Cattermole is around something is always likely to happen!
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that the two clubs have met a total of 131 times with United winning on 56 occasions and Sunderland on 39 occasions, the remainder having been drawn.
In the last 20 Premier League clashes, Sunderland have only 1 win to their name, that coming back in 1997 at the Stadium of Light.
Although the United defence has looked a little porous this season and we`ve conceded goals we shouldn`t have, the return of Nemanja Vidic should help cure that problem. Sunderland are not enjoying the best of spells and are the under-dogs in this clash. Looking towards the final whistle, we can`t see anything other than a United win, possibly by two or three clear goals!
With the international break coming up, our next Premier League match sees us go on the road to Swansea on Saturday 19th November.