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Premier League

  • March 30, 2013
  • • 20:45
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 43760
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Sunderland - Manchester United Preview: Premier League leaders seek sixth-straight clean sheet

Martin O'Neill, who has not tasted victory since January, was dealt another blow this week as Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole were ruled out for the rest of the season

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose

Johnson, Larsson, N'Diaye, McClean
Sessegnon
Graham
MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra

Carrick, Giggs
Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa
Chicharito


Sunderland's survival hopes were dealt a significant blow this week after it was confirmed that both Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole would miss the rest of the season.

Fletcher is the Black Cats' top scorer with 11 league goals this season but the attacking burden will now fall upon January signing Danny Graham.

Stephane Sessegnon is expected to return from a groin injury and is likely to support Graham in a 4-4-1-1 formation. David Vaughan (groin) should be available but Carlos Cuellar (ankle) is a doubt and Wes Brown (knee) is injured.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, could ring the changes ahead of his side's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Chelsea on Monday.

Chicharito is likely to start in attack but Ferguson may not risk resting both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Nani (hamstring), Paul Scholes (knee) and Phil Jones (ankle) are nearing returns after spells on the sidelines but this match may come too soon for them.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Steven Fletcher has scored a third of Sunderland's 33 league goals so far this season, a larger percentage than Robin van Persie has contributed for Manchester United (28 per cent).
  • While they have struggled to score goals, only Stoke have a better defensive record than the Black Cats of clubs currently lying in the bottom half of the Premier League.
  • Sunderland beat Manchester City both this season and last at the Stadium of Light but have not toppled United on home turf in the top flight since 1997.
  • Adam Johnson's performances since his move from Manchester City have often come under scrutiny this season but the winger has created more chances (44) than any of his team-mates in 2012-13.
  • Having collected 74 points from 29 games, Manchester United remain on course to break Chelsea's record Premier League points tally of 95.
  • Despite suffering slip-ups in the FA Cup and Champions League, United have kept clean sheets in five consecutive league matches.
  • Left-back Patrice Evra (pictured right) has played more minutes (2,430) than any other United player in the league this season.
  • No player in the top flight has hit the woodwork more than Van Persie this season. The Dutchman has been denied by a post or the crossbar seven times.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
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Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
2Phil BardsleyDefender
3Danny RoseMidfielder
16John O'SheaDefender
19Titus BrambleDefender
-Alfred N'diayeMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
30Danny GrahamStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
27Matthew Kilgallon Defender
5Kader ManganeDefender
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
10Connor WickhamStriker
-Mikael MandronStriker
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
2RafaelDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
28Alexander BüttnerDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
8AndersonMidfielder
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
17NaniMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
25Nick PowellMidfielder
19Danny WelbeckStriker

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