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Preview: To the Victor, The Wembley Soil

All the information you'll need ahead of tonight's Capital One Cup semi-final decider with Manchester United.

Chris Brunskill

Sunderland Team News

Steven Fletcher is closer to full fitness after a knock restricted him to just a cameo appearance in the draw against Southampton on Saturday. He will challenge Jozy Altidore for the lone centre-forward role in what has become a ‘chop-and-change' scenario in recent weeks.

Despite the disappointing opening to that game, it is likely that substituted pair Seb Larsson and Lee Cattermole will be retained in midfield due to their work-rate without possession.

New arrivals Oscar Ustari and Santiago Vergini could be on the bench.

Manchester United Team News

Nemanja Vidic will begin a three-match suspension after his red card against Chelsea on Sunday. Patrice Evra limped out of the defeat, adding him to a growing list of injury concerns for David Moyes that includes both Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.

Javier Hernandez could come into contention after scoring at Stamford Bridge, whilst Rio Ferdinand is edging closer to a first-team return. However Phil Jones is more likely to partner Jonny Evans in central defence.

Predicted Lineups

<a href="" title="Click to view tactic"><img src="" alt="Manchester United vs Sunderland - Football tactics and formations" /></a>

Sunderland: Mannone; Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso; Cattermole; Johnson, Larsson, Ki, Borini, Altidore

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Evans, Buttner; Carrick, Cleverley; Valencia, Giggs, Januzaj; Hernandez

Key Matchup: Adam Johnson vs Alexander Buttner/Patrice Evra

Despite United's struggles, it is one of the few areas where you could argue the visitors hold an advantage. Johnson has started the New Year in fine fettle and, up against an out-of-practice Alexander Buttner - or should he make it - an injury-troubled Evra, needs to capitalise on any opportunities afforded to him.

Recent Form: WLLLWL

Win: Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United (Welbeck 57)

Loss: Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Welbeck 67; Adebayor 34, Eriksen 66)

Loss: Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City (Hernandez 16; Routledge 12, Bony 90)

Loss: Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United (Giggs og 45, Borini pen 64; Vidic 52)

Win: Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City (Valencia 47, Welbeck 59)

Loss: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United (Eto'o 17, 45 and 49; Hernandez 78)

Last Time Around: Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland, 15/12/12

Despite an unrelenting away support, United extracted ‘revenge' on the Black Cats through early Robin Van Persie and Tom Cleverley strikes. A second half Wayne Rooney goal only extended such rhetoric before Fraizer Campbell scored his final Sunderland goal. A similar result tonight would be most unwelcome.

The Ref: Lee Mason

One official that we had started off okay with, Mason officiated both the visit to Southampton in the league and the win over the Saints in the Capital One Cup. Then came the home game with Spurs and the Sandro handball. But we don't like to hold grudges here, so have a good one.

What The Managers Said

Gus Poyet

You don't get to a semi-final every year - sometimes not even in 10 years

It's a great opportunity to put ourselves in a final but we've only done part of the job. You never know how much - whether 50% or not - but definitely a part.

We must go there and try to make sure we finish the job and put ourselves in the final.

We must attack to create chances and score goals. If we score then it will be more difficult for Manchester United.

David Moyes

I want to give the supporters something to cheer about. There's not been an awful lot and I'm fully aware of that but I thought how we played [against Chelsea] was not bad.

The players played well but if you are going to defend the way we did then we are going to find it tough.

We're going to go out and do everything we can to get through.

Roker Report Predicts

That an edgy, ultimately torturing game of football will come to a head after extra time, and by the virtue of away goals coming into play after said period, a 2-2 draw will be enough to confirm our date with Wembley. Hawaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

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