Bent predicts a difficult day out for United

In-form striker Darren Bent has warned Manchester United not to expect an easy day out at Sunderland this weekend.

United head for the Stadium of Light on Saturday trailing reigning Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea by three points after just six games.

Carlo Ancelotti's men lost 1-0 at Manchester City last weekend 24 hours before United were held 2-2 at Bolton.

There were also four goals in Sunderland's game at Liverpool, although it is a measure of the Black Cats' blossoming confidence that they returned from Anfield disappointed not to be doing so with all three points after referee Stuart Attwell's decision to allow Dirk Kuyt's controversial opener.

The draw on Merseyside came a week after Bent's late equaliser secured a point against Arsenal and five after his last-gasp penalty sent City home from Wearside empty-handed to emphasise Sunderland's growing success rate against the bigger clubs.

Bent told SAFC TV: "As long as we take the great positives from what we did against Liverpool into the Manchester United game, I am sure we will be OK because at home against the big boys, we have been playing so, so well.

"Everyone seems to lift their game and the crowd lifts us and we seem to get the results we want to get, so if we can continue with the performance from Liverpool and take it into the United game, then it should be a good, good game.

"I can't remember the last time we lost to a so-called big team at home."

The answer to Bent's poser is that United were the last member of the Premier League's aristocracy to win at the Stadium of Light when Nani's 28th-minute strike secured a narrow 1-0 victory on 2 May this year, although it has been something of a rare occurrence during Steve Bruce's reign as manager.

Chelsea's 3-1 success on Wearside in August last year was followed by 1-0 wins over both Liverpool and Arsenal, while Tottenham, who finished fourth last season, lost 3-1 in April.

Bent is fully aware of the talent at United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's disposal even without the injured and out of form Wayne Rooney.

However, he is confident that Sunderland will more than give them a game if they perform as they have done to date on their own pitch this season.

He said: "United have got some top, top players – they have got Rooney, [Dimitar] Berbatov, who has been on fire this year, [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, Nani... the names are endless with the talent they have in their team. But at the same time, on Saturday they have got to come and play on the same pitch we have got to play on.

"The main thing is that we set our stall out and make it hard for them to beat us, and then we go from there and make sure we play our game and cause them a few problems."

England international Bent goes into the game with eight goals to his name for the new campaign, seven of them for Sunderland and five of those in the league, a return which leaves him just one behind Berbatov and Chelsea's forward Florent Malouda and level with Didier Drogba.

Meanwhile, Bruce has confirmed that his goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will retain his place between the posts this weekend despite Craig Gordon's return to fitness.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam