December 25, 2010

Manchester United Vs. Sunderland Preview

According to  
Both sides come into the festive period in good spirits.  Manchester United find themselves top of the Premier League and with a relatively kind draw in the last sixteen of the Champions League. Meanwhile, Sunderland harbour genuine hopes of a European spot themselves and should Steve Bruce's side carry their form into the second half of the campaign, there is every chance that it might just happen.

Having said that, the statistics indicate that the chances of Sunderland pulling off a famous victory are slim. The Mackems have not won at Old Trafford since 1968 and last beat United ten years ago in a League Cup tie.  Last season, Anton Ferdinand's late own-goal denied Bruce's side a memorable win in the corresponding fixture.

The Black Cats will also have to contend with the fact that Manchester United remain the only unbeaten team in the country.  Sir Alex Ferguson's side have rarely hit top form this season, but have yet to lose in 16 Premier League games and will feel that there is little reason not to extend that run on Sunday.  

United are sitting pretty at the top of the table, two points ahead of Arsenal with a game in hand.  Ferguson will be aware that perhaps their main danger on Sunday will be a sense of over-confidence and should they suffer from complacency, Sunderland have shown that they have enough quality about them to take advantage.  However, Bruce looks like he will have to contend with a number of absentees from his squad as he returns to the club at which he made a name for himself as a player. 

The Sunderland boss has taken a realistic approach ahead of the game, saying "We know what to expect, it will be difficult. But I always enjoy going back, even if I do come back with my backside kicked."
Certainly Ferguson will hope to send his former captain back to Wearside nursing his wounds.