- Sunderland beat United 1-0 at Old Trafford last season
- United have lost just two of their last 20 games
- Sunderland has one win in last nine PL matches
Manchester United welcome Sunderland to Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) as the Red Devils aim to stay in the top four with a win.
United lost for just the second time in their last 20 league and cup matches last week against Swansea and Dutch manager Louis van Gaal will be looking for a response from his team.
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As for Sunderland, they have drawn 13 of their 26 games in the PL this season as Gus Poyet’s squad are tough to beat but have scored just 22 goals.
In team news Robin van Persie is missing for a month with an ankle injury, while Michael Carrick may also miss out. Sunderland will be without Jack Rodwell, Billy Jones and Emanuele Giaccherini.
What they’re saying
Louis van Gaal on top four battle: “Big disappointment, of course, a big disappointment. When you start the season with the objective of finishing in the first four of the league it is your objective and you are occupied with doing that. But we are still there, I don’t know why are we talking about it when it is not like that, because we are still there. What is the problem?”
Gus Poyet on facing United: “Manchester United have to come back [from defeat at Swansea] and they know us well from what happened last year, so they know they will face a team who could find Old Trafford a nice place to play football. It is going to be competitive and we need to be spot on defensively because they have quality players, but we don’t know too much about the system and who is going to be available so it is a little bit tricky and we need to concentrate on what we do.”
A home win is the easy option here, and I think that’s exactly what it is going to be. Van Gaal will have been livid that his side lost at Swansea last week and very aware of the cluster of teams grouping behind United. They have to win, and I expect them to do so. 3-1.