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EPL Preview: Sunderland v. Manchester United

Sunderland, led by caretaker manager Kevin Ball, will welcome Manchester United to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, October 5.

Sunderland, led by caretaker manager Kevin Ball, will welcome Manchester United to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, October 5.

The Black Cats (0-1-5) are the only English Premier League side without a win in 2013/14. As you might expect, they are bottom-of-the-table.

United (2-1-3) — losers of two consecutive league matches — have not been much better, and are currently in 12th-place in the league table.

Team News

Wayne Rooney is expected to be back in the lineup for the Reds on Saturday after missing Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League in Donetsk with a swollen shin, while Rio Ferdinand (groin) is doubtful.

On the other side of the touchline, Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher could be sidelined for up to six weeks with a shoulder injury.

Andrea Dossena (thigh), Phil Bardsley (foot) and former Manchester United defender Wes Brown (calf) will also be unavailable for the hosts.

Possible Starting Lineups

Sunderland: Westwood; Celustka, Cuellar, O’Shea, Colback; Johnson, Gardner, Larsson, Ki, Giaccherini; Altidore.

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Fellaini; Nani, Rooney, Welbeck; Van Persie.

Quotes

Vidic on Saturday’s match: “I think this is a more important game. We need to get a few wins in a row.

“The situation is not that bad compared to the teams who you would think will also be competing for the title, or at least the ones who were the favourites.

“We know we have to improve. We know we have to work hard and stick together on the pitch.”

Match Facts

Sunderland are win-less in their last 10 league matches, drawing three and losing seven.

The Wearsiders have earned just eight points (out of a possible 72) in their previous 24 meeting with Manchester United in the Premier League, while scoring just four goals in their last 13 league fixtures against the Reds.

United handed Sunderland a 1-0 defeat in this corresponding fixture last term after Robin van Persie’s shot managed to find its way past Simon Mignolet after a double-deflection off of Phil Bardsley and Titus Bramble, with the latter being credited with the unlucky own goal.

Subsequently, the visitors are 13/8 to win to nil, and 3/1 to win both halves.

United boss David Moyes in 11-4-1 against Sunderland in his managerial career, with his only loss coming at the Stadium of Light last term.

Wayne Rooney, who has scored three direct free-kicks in his last three league appearances, is 25/1 to score a hat-trick against Sunderland on Saturday.

Betting Odds

Sunderland (5/1); Manchester United (13/20); Draw (3/1)

Match Prediction

Sunderland 0 – Manchester United 3 (11/1)

Fri 4 October, 2013
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