LINE-UP: Manchester United team to play Sunderland

There appears to be a new found confidence in manager Louis van Gaal’s team despite all the talk of him being replaced by Jose Mourinho.

The Red Devils are playing much better football of late, and despite the setback in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea we expect Louis van Gaal to name a pretty much unchanged team for the match against Sunderland.

What this probably means given a few new injury worries is that 18-year-old Cameron Borthwick-Jackson will be at left-back, while Marouane Fellaini retains his place in midfield.

We have to say that winger Memphis Depay did not have his best day against Chelsea and due to that is likely to start from the bench, despite the desire to make up for the poor pass that cost United the win.

Sunderland fought hard to come back and draw against Liverpool last weekend, but do not possess the quality of United so will assume the same tactics and soak up the attack while hoping to catch United on the break. Key to stopping this happen will be how Chris Smalling and Daley Blind handle Jermain Defoe after having seen the former England striker bag six goals in his last six games.

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney admitted that today’s lunchtime game against Sunderland is a must win for Manchester United.

“It probably is a must-win game,” he told MUTV.

“We want to get into that top four again and try and push as high up the table as possible. The only way we can do that is by winning games.

“Sunderland’s ground is one that we’ve had a lot of good results at in the past, and we want a good performance, but I think on Saturday the most important thing is the result.

“They’re fighting for survival and obviously they have a passionate crowd so we know it’s going to be a difficult game for us.

“The one thing we can’t do is let their fans get their players up on the pitch. We need to try and quieten the crowd at every opportunity we get, but I think the one thing we know that will 100 per cent happen is (they’ll) fight for the win.”

Team News

Team manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United have had a worsening of their injury problems following the 1-1 draw with Chelsea last Sunday.

While holding his press conference at Carrington ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light the Dutchman revealed that the team would travel up to the North East minus Phil Jones, Adnan Januzaj and Guillermo Varela after the trio picked up injuries while playing in the U-21’s 7-0 win at Old Trafford against Norwich on Monday evening.

He said: “They’re not nasty injuries but I have to give them time to recover.”

LVG also confirmed that Bastian Schweinsteiger is still out, but had good news also saying that Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia could be available for selection soon.

He added: “I cannot say Bastian is returning in two weeks. I have given him a holiday. There is light at the end of the tunnel for Rojo and Valencia – they are coming back and I hope to have them as soon as possible.”

The 64-year-old Dutchman also confirmed that Will Keane will be included in United’s squad for the game against the Black Cats after the 23-year-old striker scored five goals in the clubs U-21 match against Norwich City on Monday.


After having seen how Sunderland played against Liverpool last weekend we can only see a win for United this afternoon, which given the other top of the table games this weekend could see the Red Devils right back there in a fight for fourth place providing the other results go the right way.

This is a must win game for United which is why we fancy them to come away with a 0-2 win at odds of 7/1 with Bet365.

Have a look at our team selection below and see if you think we have go it spot on.

Manchester United - Football tactics and formations