Premier League: Sunderland v Manchester United

A look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League fixture at the Stadium of Light

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The Independent Football

The Sunderland board have given Kevin Ball the unenviable task of staying in charge for another weekend and trying to take Sunderland from the foot of the table against champions Manchester United.

However the Black Cats’ caretaker manager will be buoyed by the fact David Moyes’ team have only won once in their previous five league games and that he has a full-strength squad to select from.

Steven Fletcher remains absent with a shoulder injury, but Fabio Borini returns to the side after missing the game against Liverpool due to being ineligible to face his former club.

Manchester United will be relieved to welcome back their in-form striker Wayne Rooney after he missed the Champions League encounter with Shaktar Donetsk with a knock.

Rooney has scored three times in his last three league games, and will be partnered by Robin van Persie who has also returned from injury. 

Danny Welbeck will also be pushing for a place in the starting line-up after he netted United’s only goal in Ukraine in midweek.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5.30 pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Sunderland 0 Man United 1 (Bramble OG), Premier League, March 2013

Man United 3 (Van Persie, Cleverley, Rooney) Sunderland 1 (Campbell), Premier League, December 2012

Sunderland 0 Man United 1 (Rooney), Premier League, May 2012

STATS

Sunderland haven’t beaten Man United in the Premier League since March 1997 when goals from Gray and Mullin gave the Black Cats a 2-1 win over a side featuring Schmeichel, Cantona and Beckham.

Sunderland have beaten United just twice in the last 31 league games between the sides.

If Kevin Ball’s side lose this game, they will have made their worst start to a Premier League season ever. The last time they started this poorly was 2005, the season they were relegated.

Man United have made their worst start to a campaign since the 1989-1990 season.

ODDS…

Sunderland to win: 6.2

Man United to win: 1.64

Draw: 4

TV: Live on Sky Sports, 5,30 pm, Highlights on BBC 1, Saturday, 10.30pm and BBC 1, Sunday, 10.25pm

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