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Premier League

  • May 13, 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 46452
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Sunderland - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils know they need to beat Black Cats to stand a chance of 20th title

Sunderland - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils know they need to beat Black Cats to stand a chance of 20th title

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Sir Alex Ferguson's side go to the Stadium of Light knowing they need three points to put the pressure on Manchester City on final day of Premier League season

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
 O’Shea, Turner, Kilgallon, Bardsley
 Gardner, Cattermole, Colback, McClean Sessegnon, Bendtner


MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
 Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra
 Carrick, Scholes, Giggs
Valencia, Rooney, Young


Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill only has a couple of late fitness tests to worry about going into the final league game of the season, with Nicklas Bendtner and John O’Shea both doubtful.

Elsewhere, the more long-term concerns of Wes Brown (knee), Sebastian Larrson (hernia) and Kieran Richardson (groin) will see them all miss the end-of-season clash with the triumvirate all out for the rest of the campaign.

SPANNER IN THE WORKS?
6/1 Sunderland are 6/1 with bet365 to beat Manchester United on Sunday.

For Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has been dealt the blow that Chris Smalling will miss the game after requiring surgery on a groin injury that will see him miss the whole of Euro 2012.

Danny Welbeck also looks set to miss the game with an ankle injury, while Nemanja Vidic (knee). Michael Owen (thigh), Anderson (hamstring) and Darren Fletcher (bowel condition) are all still receiving treatment on the sidelines.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester United go into the final game of the season knowing that even victory will not be enough for them to clinch the Premier league title, as they start the match eight points further back on goal difference to Manchester City.
  • Manchester United won the title last season with 80 points; a victory over Sunderland will see them finish with nine more on 89.

  •  A potential tally of 89 points would be the highest ever accrued in Premier League history for a second-placed side.

  •  With Manchester United currently on 86 points, this would have been enough to secure the league title in nine of the previous 20 Premier League seasons.

  • Ferguson’s side have currently won 12 games on their travels so far this term, victory in the Stadium of Light would seal their 13th, their equal best ever total, a feat which they matched in 1993-94, 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2006-07.

  • In games in which Paul Scholes has scored, United remain unbeaten since a 2005 defeat to Benfica in the Champions League, winning 20 and drawing four.

  • Manchester United are unbeaten against Sunderland in their last 19 meetings between the two sides.

  • Sunderland have only ever beaten Manchester United once in the top flight in 21 attempts, with that win coming way back in 1997 when the club still played at Roker Park.

  • Martin O’Neill’s side are currently on a seven-match winless streak

  • Three of the last give goals that the Mackems have conceded to Manchester United have been own goals.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
2Phil BardsleyDefender
6Michael TurnerDefender
16John O'SheaDefender
19Titus BrambleDefender
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
-David VaughanMidfielder
-James McCleanMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
25Fraizer CampbellStriker
20Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
3Wayne BridgeDefender
16Sotirios KyrgiakosDefender
7David MeylerMidfielder
27Ahmed El MohamadyMidfielder
10Connor WickhamStriker
10Dong-Won JiStriker
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
40Ben AmosGoalkeeper
2RafaelDefender
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
17NaniMidfielder
10Michael OwenStriker
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
Players to Watch
Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 22
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 0 0
With Manchester United chasing an unlikely title triumph going into the final day, they will remain particularly aware that they need to capitalise on any potential Manchester City slip-up. With this in mind, they are likely to pepper the home side’s goal in an attempt to keep their slim hopes alive and the Belgian international will need to maintain the form which has seen him establish himself as the club’s firm number one, for he is likely to be in for a busy afternoon.
Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
It may seem a simplistic argument, but when he plays well, so do the rest of the side. Scholes return helped spark a revival in the club’s ailing campaign and he has more than shown his class over the last six months to put to bed any niggling doubts that the move to bring him out of retirement was one that was prompted by sentiment. The fact that he is being touted with a return to the England fold in time for Euro 2012 despite missing the first half of the season speaks volumes for the player’s undisputed quality.
Prediction
Knowing that they need to perform a job, Ferguson is likely to select an attacking line-up from the off and with the turnaround in the club’s fortunes from potential relegation candidates to mid-table also-rans has seen O’Neill’s side take their foot off the gas in recent weeks with the summer holidays seemingly preying heavily on the player’s minds. In short, one has a job to do, the other is merely turning up and a United victory is well on the cards.
Editor's Prediction

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