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Match Preview: Manchester United Vs Sunderland AFC

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Preview of this weekend's clash with the Red Devils.

That old feeling of Déjà vu has once again reared it's ugly head. For the third season running Sunderland have failed to pick up a win in their first 6 fixtures of the league campaign and it doesn't look like those elusive 3 points will be coming any time soon.


Very few will be expecting anything other than defeat this weekend at Old Trafford. Though performances may have not have been impressive, the Red Devils have regained the knack of picking up points even when they don't play well.  New signing Anthony Martial flew out of the blocks scoring in each of his first two Premier League game and will be looking to become the first United player to score in his first three Premier League appearances.


Dick Advocaat will be looking for improvement in the Black Cats despite the opponents, in particular the first half performance and defensive organisation.


Match Appointments

Referee: Mike Jones

Assistants: A Holmes & I Hussin

Fourth Official: G Salisbury


Manchester United Team News

Manchester United face a selection headache defensively with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Paddy McNair all in the treatment room.


Sunderland Team News

Sunderland could be without Jermain Defoe and Jack Rodwell as they struggle to shrug off knocks. Adam Mathews remains sidelined. Younis Kaboul is available once again after serving a 1 match ban


Last 10 League Meetings

28 Feb 2014/2015

Man. Utd. 2-0 Sunderland

24 Aug 2014/2015

Sunderland 1-1 Man. Utd.

03 May 2013/2014

Man. Utd. 0-1 Sunderland

05 Oct 2013/2014

Sunderland 1-2 Man. Utd.

30 Mar 2012/2013

Sunderland 0-1 Man. Utd.

15 Dec 2012/2013

Man. Utd. 3-1 Sunderland

13 May 2011/2012

Sunderland 0-1 Man. Utd.

05 Nov 2011/2012

Man. Utd. 1-0 Sunderland

26 Dec 2010/2011

Man. Utd. 2-0 Sunderland

02 Oct 2010/2011

Sunderland 0-0 Man. Utd.


Form

Manchester United

Sun 20 Sep

Southampton 2-3 Man Utd

Sat 12 Sep

Man Utd 3-1 Liverpool

Sun 30 Aug

Swansea 2-1 Man Utd

Sat 22 Aug

Man Utd 0-0 Newcastle

Fri 14 Aug

Aston Villa 0-1 Man Utd

Sat 8 Aug

Man Utd 1-0 Tottenham


Sunderland

Sat 19 Sep

Bournemouth 2-0 Sunderland

Sun 13 Sep

Sunderland 0-1 Tottenham

Sat 29 Aug

Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland

Sat 22 Aug

Sunderland 1-1 Swansea

Sat 15 Aug

Sunderland 1-3 Norwich

Sat 8 Aug

Leicester 4-2 Sunderland


Spotlight

JOHN O'SHEA

The stats say it all. We're better when the big man plays. John O'Shea is our best central defender and the only one capable of encouraging a competent, confident performance from his partner. It's a sad indictment but there you go.


Last Corresponding Fixture

A Word On Manchester United

This week we welcome Ed from the Manchester United fanzine unitedrant.co.uk with a little info on our opponents. A big thank you and best wishes to him.


Louis van Gaal's side might be second in the Premier League table, but it has been anything but a consistent start to the season. Results have outstripped performances, or to be more accurate, Van Gaal's team has picked up points while playing a conservative, even boring style of football. The focus is on "control and domination" - a synonym for possession - where United retains the ball for long periods without creating many chances. It isn't really the 'United way'.

Still, there are signs that the more attacking elements of United's squad are asserting more of an influence. Three goals were scored against Liverpool, Southampton and Ipswich Town recently. Much of that is down to Anthony Martial's introduction. Where there was a plodding approach in the final third, now there is pace. Crucially, with no experienced strikers signed in the summer and three released, it has taken the Frenchman no time to settle. He's the real deal alright.

With that comes expectation. Both that Martial will continue his goalscoring run against Sunderland - and that United will win handsomely. Both could happen.

OPTA Stats 'n' Facts

  • Sunderland have only defeated the Red Devils on one occasion in their last 26 Premier League encounters (W1 D6 L19).
  • Manchester United have conceded just two goals in their last five Premier League home games against Sunderland.
  • Sunderland have won just one of their last 14 Premier League away games (D6 L7).
  • The Red Devils have scored with all six shots on target in their last two Premier League games (versus Liverpool and Southampton).
  • After scoring in his first three consecutive matches against Man Utd in the PL, Jermain Defoe has only managed two goals in 18 PL apps versus them since.
  • Sunderland are looking for their 50th Premier League away victory (currently 49).
  • The Black Cats are now on a nine-game winless streak in the Premier League (D4 L5); the longest current run in the competition.
  • Sunderland have conceded 10 goals in the first half of PL games so far this season - of the other 19 teams, only Chelsea (12) have conceded more overall than this.
  • Antonio Valencia could make his 250th Premier League appearance in this game - the only other South American to reach this landmark is Nolberto Solano (302 PL apps).