|English Premier League 2014-15|
| Manchester United
ScheduleSaturday, 28 February 2015 at 14:00 GMT / 14:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueOld Trafford (Manchester)
Next Saturday, 28th of February 2015, a super inconsistent Manchester United will entertain a Sunderland in need of points at the emblematic Old Trafford for round 27 of the English Premier League. The Red Devils don’t seem to be able to find the path to glory this season and they need a win against Sunderland in order to keep nurturing their hopes of finishing third this season. On the other hand, the Black Cats need points like a dying man needs a priest and they will certainly try to cause United a major upset during next Sunday’s clash.
The new Manchester United of Louis Van Gaal is, in fact, quite similar to the one that David Moyes commanded last season, at least when it comes to put up consistent performances. After a fairly unconvincing home win over Burnley, where the Clarets could very well have left Old Trafford with at least one point on their bags, United sucumbed at the hands of Swansea last Saturday and conceded their fifth defeat of the season. In fact, the match against Burnley was some sort of a prelude of what was about to happen and United’s shaky foundations fell to the ground against a Swansea side that knew how to perfectly exploit the Red Devils’ usual defensive flaws. Manchester United had more ball possession and plenty more chances to score against the Swans but in the end it was the Welsh team who collected the three points, thus “robbing” the Red Devils a total of six points this season.
The upcoming match against Sunderland will be a good opportunity for United to return to wins in front of their enthusiastic supporters, but they need to put up a far more solid performance than those they have been displaying recently if they want to grant the three points. For that particular clash, Louis Van Gaal will certainly still not be able to rely on the contribution of Michael Carrick, who remains sidelined due to injury.
As for Sunderland, things have been far from brilliant so far this season and the team is currently dangerously close to the relegation zone. After two consecutive defeats, one against QPR for the English Premier League and another one against Bradford for the FA Cup, Sunderland managed to snatch a goalless draw when they hosted West Brom last weekend.
Gus Poyet has an Herculean challenge ahead of him in order to prevent the Black Cats from being relegated this season and all the points they manage to grab will certainly be welcomed.
Despite their recent unconvincing performances, United are firm favourites to win the upcoming clash, but they will certainly need to dig deep in order to achieve that.
Stats: W-3 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - LWWDW
Stats: W-1 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - DLLDW
Manchester United (4-3-1-2) – De Gea - Jones - Rojo - Valencia - Shaw - Blind - Di Maria - Herrera - Rooney - Van Persie - Falcao
Sunderland (4-4-1-1) – Pantilimon - Vergini - O’Shea - Brown - Reveillere - Johnson - Larsson - Cattermole - Alvarez - Wickham - Defoe