Man United: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa; Mata; Welbeck.
Sunderland: Mannone; Vergini, O’Shea, Brown, Alonso; Larsson, Cattermole, Colback; Giaccherini, Wickham, Borini
101GG Betting Tip
The reverse fixture last Autumn announced the arrival of Adnan Januzaj, the young Belgian scoring a brilliant brace and quite probably saving Moyes from the sack.
Sunderland were a sinking ship back then though, being navigated by a makeshift pilot in interim manager Kevin Ball; under Gus Poyet, Sunderland are a different beast, fighting for their lives to pull off the Great Escape from relegation.
Rock bottom until a few weeks ago, Sunderland have gained an improbable 7 points from their last 3 games – including a win at Chelsea and a draw with Man City, to give themselves a huge fighting chance of surviving.
With the momentum the Black Cats are being carried along by, suddenly the prospect of an Old Trafford visit appears not so daunting.
What’s more, they’ll be buoyed by the absence of either of United’s top strikers: with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie out, the task is Danny Welbeck’s to breach the Black Cats’ back line.
Granted, United have their own bit of inspirational momentum with totemic Ryan Giggs leading the team out, with the dog days of David Moyes a distant, hazy memory.
All taken into account, you’d perhaps have to just lean towards an edgy, marginal Man United win, but a Sunderland draw would not be a shock with the shape of the current narrative, and with Conor Wickham suddenly transformed into the striker he’s always threatened to be, they carry just as much goal threat as the deposed champions.
101GG Prediction: Man United 2 – Sunderland 2
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