Sunderland are currently rock bottom of the Premier League table, they’re on 2 points after 6 games. Their Tyneside rivals, Newcastle United, sit just above them by just one goal. Sunderland’s goal difference sits at -7 whereas Newcastle’s is -6.
The Black Cats have conceded 13 goals in their 6 Premier League games, and have only scored 6 times. In all competitions they can only boast one win, in the Capital One Cup, against Exeter. Even in their only win they still conceded 3 goals, winning the tie 6-3.
Dick Advocaat’s men have lost to two of the Prem’s newly promoted teams, Norwich City and Bournemouth, and in midweek they lost 4-1 to Manchester City, in the League Cup, conceding all 4 goals in the first half.
Ex-United defenseman by the likes of John O’Shea and Wes Brown will be returning to Old Trafford again since departing in 2011. Only O’Shea is expected to start at Old Trafford later today though.
Sunderland’s central midfield pairing doesn’t deserve to be at the bottom of the table. Yann M’Vila and Jack Rodwell provide the perfect mix of hard defensive abilities along with skilful attacking potential. They’re both very dangerous players, in the right situations.
New signing Jeremain Lens, is a great player who provides lightning pace, and a knack for getting into dangerous situations in the box.
Top striker, Jermain Defoe is a huge threat to any team. He’s a constant threat due to his natural ability to score whenever or wherever. He just needs half a chance, and sometimes not even that.
Fortunately for Manchester United, Sunderland are in terrible form and their decent players are struggling to play in their current position. Vito Mannone has looked particularly shaky between the posts this season.
Based on recent performances, Sunderland is one of Manchester United’s bogey teams. In the last 5 match ups between the two sides, each have taken the victory twice and the other ended as a draw.
Two seasons ago, Sunderland won 1-0 at Old Trafford; this was when Ryan Giggs was trying to get some decent results following David Moyes’ late dismissal.
Sunderland have the worst defence in the Premier League, it’s aged, it’s slow and it’s backed up a poor goalkeeper. Anthony Martial should tear them apart.
The ruthless Frenchman will once again latch onto a decent pass from Rooney, Mata or Depay and then place a cool finish in the far corner.
United’s defence should hold up well this week. They have struggled this season with big strikers like Gomis or Pellè, so little Defoe would be welcomed change of pace for the back four.
Not to say that Defoe isn’t dangerous, but his stature makes him a decent marking target for either Chris Smalling or Daley Blind, so he won’t just be able to play off of Blind, in order to exert a physical presence.
This has all the making of a blow out with United in great form and Sunderland coming to Old Trafford as bottom of the league.
The Red Devils could go as far as winning 4 or 5-0, and Martial looks more likely to score twice than he does to score just one.
Manchester United kick off against Sunderland today at 15:00 at Old Trafford.