Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughSunderland vs Manchester United Preview - Team News, Key Battles, Lineups, And Prediction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Sunderland vs Manchester United Preview - Team News, Key Battles, Lineups, And Prediction - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Sunderland vs Manchester United Preview – Team News, Key Battles, Lineups, And Prediction

Sunderland vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester United suffered a minor debacle last weekend, as they lost to a confident Swansea team that aimed at taking all three points at Old Trafford. The loss brought back memories of last season, where United were everywhere and yet, were nowhere by the end of the season. Teams do not fear facing United anymore and aim at taking away points from their games against United. To put this in perspective, under Sir Alex Ferguson, teams would be happy to take away a solitary point from their clashes with United. Now, the fear factor seems to have vanished, and Louis van Gaal is right when he says that he has inherited a “broken squad”, as the players do not seem to have the aura around them, which made them seem invincible.

manchester united

manchester united

Sunderland, on the other hand, visit United with a well-deserved point in their tally, after drawing 2-2 in an away game against West Brom. The team is still settling down, and they will look to get more goals from their strikers, on a more consistent basis as compared to last season. The arrival of Jack Rodwell has strengthened their midfield and the reinforcements that Gus Poyet has brought in will ensure that Sunderland are not at the bottom of the pile. Their defence needs to improve and close down attacks quickly, as West Brom did not make use of all the chances they received, but Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and company will not let them go easily.

United did not have a large number of their players last weekend. This weekend, United will be a completely different proposition, as Robin van Persie will be back, which could have a catalytic effect on players such as Rooney and Mata. Their defence is still shaky, and Marcos Rojo will not be able to play as he hasn’t got his work permit yet. The central defence and the central midfield are being stretched to their limits, with the loss of both Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick hurting them badly. The 3-5-2 formation seems to be United’s best option, as they will look to show that they mean business this weekend. A 4-2-3-1/4-1-4-1 formation with Jack Rodwell as a floater in midfield will be used by Sunderland. Jozy Altidore could start for Sunderland today, as his powerful runs could stretch an already weakened Manchester United defence further.

Both teams will look to get their first wins today. Sunderland will want to go one better than last weekend, and will want to show that they are no pushovers, as they will look to make their fans forget last season’s poor start. For Manchester United, Louis van Gaal needs to get points on the board, after United underwent their first loss on the opening weekend of the Premier League in more than 40 years.

Possible line-ups:

Sunderland (4-1-4-1): Mannone – Wes Brown, Roberge, O’Shea, van Aarnholt – Cattermole – Adam Johnson, Larsson, Rodwell, Wickham – Altidore

Manchester United (3-4-1-2): De Gea – Smalling, Jones, Blackett, Rafael/ Januzaj, Fletcher, Cleverley, Young – Mata – Rooney, van Persie

Player versus player: Key Battles

Adam Johnson v. Blackett – Johnson outruns and out-muscles defenders on a regular basis to lay crosses for his teammates. Blackett is the newbie for United, having been fast-tracked into the first team due to United’s lack of options in defence. This will be a test by fire for Blackett, which could prove his maturity at the top level, and could help him make his place in the team if he emerges successful. Sunderland will be looking to use Johnson to break one of the weakest links in this United team to create opportunities through which Sunderland will look to score.

Robin van Persie v. Roberge – Robin van Persie will want to show what the United team was missing in the previous game. Louis van Gaal will need to deploy him to create havoc among the Sunderland defenders. Roberge has been elevated to the first-team after the departure of Phil Bardsley and looked shaky on the opening weekend. John O’Shea is now the main central defender at Sunderland, and RvP will terrorise the second central defender in order to open his goal account this season.

Mata v. Rodwell – Rodwell had a great game last weekend, putting in tackles and controlling play through his passing, as he has looked to prove a point to the Manchester City team where he was reduced to a bit-part role. Now rejuvenated by his move to Sunderland, he will look to make up for lost time, as he will want to break into the England team. Mata had a forgettable game last weekend, as he ran around in circles and was unable to impose his mark, even after being deployed in his favourite ‘number 10’ role. He will look to make amends this weekend, and with a forward line of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney to pounce on his passes, expect him to perform today.


Manchester United to secure their first league win of the season.

Sunderland 1 Manchester United 3

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