TEAM NEWS: Rooney, Rio & Giggs all left out for Manchester United's trip to Sunderland

Sir Alex Ferguson rotates his squad for the Premier League visit to the Stadium of Light, where the Black Cats adapt without their injured captain and top goalscorer
Manchester United are without Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs for their Premier League trip to Sunderland.

With his side 15 points clear of rivals Manchester City going into the match, Sir Alex Ferguson can afford to rotate ahead of an FA Cup replay against Chelsea, offering Alexander Buttner a rare starting chance at left-back ahead of Patrice Evra while Chris Smalling and Anderson are among the other first-XI names.

Robin van Persie leads the line for the visitors on the ground where, on the final day of last season, United came within 120 seconds of winning the Premier League.

Sunderland, freshly hit by the news that neither captain Lee Cattermole or top scorer Steven Fletcher will play again this season, are forced into changes.

Danny Graham plays ahead of Stephane Sessegnon up front while Craig Gardner, often played at right-back, lines up in the centre of midfield alongside Alfred N'Diaye.

Sunderland starting XI: Mignolet; Bardsley, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose; McClean, N'Diaye, Gardner, Johnson; Sessegnon; Graham
Subs: Larsson, Wickham, Kilgallon, Colback, Mangane, Mandron, Westwood

Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner; Carrick, Anderson; Valencia, Kagawa, Young; Van Persie
Subs: Evra, Evans, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Powell, Lindegaard