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The Sunderland v Man Utd Big Match Preview

This weekend's home game against Manchester United presents an absolutely massive opportunity for Sunderland - win, and we are right back in the mix for relegation survival.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Sunderland showed that they have quality against Manchester City, and showed that they have the heart against Liverpool. A combination of the two could really ignite our season, and with wins desperately needed Big Sam will be hoping for it to click this Saturday at the Stadium of Light.

When you consider Manchester United's excellent recent form, a point would be more than satisfactory, but in the grand scheme of things the sooner we start to win games the better.

Kick Off Saturday 13th February 2016, 12:45pm

Venue Stadium Of Light

Last Season Sunderland 1-1 Manchester United

Odds H 43/10 A 4/5 D 25/9

Match Appointments

Referee Andre Marriner

Assistants J Collin & S Beck

Fourth Official L Mason

Team News

Sunderland

Sam Allardyce's options in attack are limited. Following the sacking of Adam Johnson, and the injuries to Duncan Watmore (ankle ligaments) and Jeremain Lens (groin hernia), Sam will likely go with Wahbi Khazri and Fabio Borini, who makes his return having missed last weekend's game with a bout of flu.

Sebastian Larsson remains sidelined but is closing in on a return, whilst Younes Kaboul won't be expected back until West Ham at the earliest after picking up a fresh injury having turned over his ankle in training. Billy Jones is also a doubt.

Manchester United

Manchester United are expected to name an unchanged line up, though Bastian Schweinsteiger could return to the match day squad following a spell on the sidelines with a knee issue.

Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj, Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw all remain long term absentees.

Form

Sunderland - WWLDLD

06 Feb 2016 - Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland

02 Feb 2016 - Sunderland 0-1 Manchester City

23 Jan 2016 - Sunderland 1-1 AFC Bournemouth

16 Jan 2016 - Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Sunderland

13 Jan 2016 - Swansea City 2-4 Sunderland

02 Jan 2016 - Sunderland 3-1 Aston Villa

Manchester United - WDWLWD

07 Feb 2016 - Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

02 Feb 2016 - Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City

23 Jan 2016 - Manchester United 0-1 Southampton

17 Jan 2016 - Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United

12 Jan 2016 -Newcastle United 3-3 Manchester United

02 Jan 2016 - Manchester United 2-1 Swansea City

Fan Focus

The United End's Tom McDermott on Jermain Defoe:

Defoe is the man though.

I wouldn’t have minded him at United as a reserve choice forward a few years ago. I’ve always rated him and he looks like he’s hitting form for you at the right time. If he stays fit you’ll stay up.

Read more of our interview with Tom here.

Manager Craic

Sam Allardyce on Emmanuel Eboue:

Emmanuel Eboue has got a fantastic pedigree at Arsenal and if he's got the capabilities of producing that here, then we'll assess that over the next few weeks.

He's obviously not played for a long time, so our aim is to see if we can get him fit and then see if he produces the sort of performance that benefits us.

If not, he won't be taking him on. If he can, then it puts Billy (Jones) and DeAndre (Yedlin) under pressure.

On Injuries:

The injury to Younes Kaboul was a big blow because we'd got him fit.

This is a different area, he twisted an ankle in training which was extremely difficult for him to take after building himself up from the hamstring injury he got at Chelsea.

We hope that's not going to be too long. Duncan Watmore is again ankle ligaments, which looks a bit more serious than Younes'.

Jeremain Lens hasn't recovered like we thought he would, so we've got a clinical diagnosis to make. The physios think it's a hernia, but that can be repaired very quickly today though and be recovered in 10-14 days.

If that's the case, we'll get that done. We have two weeks with no game after Manchester United, so that helps with the recovery of injuries.

Come West Ham, hopefully some of these players will be back. Fabio (Borini) has recovered from his illness and given it to me! I'm quite happy to take that off him.

This Season's Reverse Fixture

Last Corresponding Fixture

Classic Match

Head To Head

26 Sep 2015 - Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland

28 Feb 2015 - Manchester United 2-0 Sunderland

24 Aug 2014 - Sunderland 1-1 Manchester United

03 May 2014 - Manchester United 0-1 Sunderland

05 Oct 2013 - Sunderland 1-2 Manchester United

30 Mar 2013 - Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United

Stats & Facts

  • Sunderland have failed to score in eight of the last twelve Barclays Premier League matches against Manchester United, and only once in each of the other four encounters.
  • The Red Devils have won twenty-one and have lost just two of their twenty-nine Premier League games against the Black Cats.
  • Sunderland have never beaten Manchester United in the league at the Stadium of Light (D4 L9).
  • Wayne Rooney has been involved in as many Premier League goals in six games in 2016 (five goals, three assists), as he had in 33 games in 2015 (six goals, two assists).
  • Sunderland are on the longest current run without a clean sheet in the Premier League (11 games).
  • The Red Devils have collected just six points from their last six Premier League away games (W1 D3 L2).
  • Sunderland have won just six of their previous 49 Premier League games in the month of February and have the worst points per game ratio in this month of all current Premier League clubs (0.63).
  • Manchester United have the best points per game record in the history of the Premier League in the month of February (2.26) and have lost just nine of their 85 games in the month.
  • Only Sergio Aguero (7) has scored more Premier League goals in 2016 so far than Jermain Defoe (6) and Wayne Rooney (5).
  • Marouane Fellaini could make his 200th Premier League appearance in this match and would be only the second Belgian to reach this landmark in the competition after Vincent Kompany.

Prediction

I think we'll get something from this. It's a very tough game but we have looked much better defensively recently and Wahbi Khazri looks the type of player that can create the two or three chances per game that Jermain Defoe needs. We've got goals in us, but getting into attacking positions was a big problem against Liverpool.

My heart says we'll nick it, my head says a draw. I'm going with 1-1.