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Premier League

  • August 24, 2014
  • • 16:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 43217
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PaddyPower Bet365 WilliamHill Unibet Bwin Tipico
Sunderland 5.00 21.00 5.50 5.30 4.20 5.50
Draw 4.20 1.06 3.75 4.20 3.60 4.00
Man Utd. 1.67 13.00 1.62 1.63 1.80 1.65
Sunderland - Manchester United Preview: Van Persie returns for Red Devils

Sunderland - Manchester United Preview: Van Persie returns for Red Devils

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The striker is fit following an extended break after the World Cup though new signings Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo will both miss out for Louis van Gaal's side

Robin van Persie is set to return for Manchester United as they look to bounce back in Sunday's Premier League trip to Sunderland.

The availability of Netherlands star Van Persie, given an extended break after the World Cup, will boost manager Louis van Gaal, who will hope to prove last week's 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City was an aberration.

A promising pre-season tour and the arrivals of Van Gaal, midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Luke Shaw lifted the gloom around Old Trafford after a disastrous seventh-placed finish last term.

But last Saturday's result proved that change is a gradual process, and that the ex-Netherlands coach has much work to do on his side if they are to claim a top-four finish.

But while Herrera, Marouane Fellaini (both ankle) and Jesse Lingard (leg) have been added to United's lengthy injury list, the inclusion of Van Persie - scorer of 38 goals in 59 Premier League appearances for the club - is a lift.

"Robin is ready to play, so that is a big benefit for our team," Van Gaal said on Friday.

"I'm very happy that he is now able to play.

"Last week, we had nine injuries and now we have seven. It's much too much. I have had this as a manager for the first time. We have to live with this.

"We have four injured midfielders - [Michael] Carrick, from the beginning, but now also Herrera, Fellaini and Lingard, we are thin on midfielders now.

Van Gaal also pleaded with the club's supporters to give him time to reverse their fortunes, adding: "Two weeks ago I was the king of Manchester. Now I am the devil of Manchester.

"I was not hired to be fired, but to build up a team and that is a process that needs time."

Danny Welbeck, Antonio Valencia and Jonny Evans could also make returns  - although Van Gaal's latest signing, Marcos Rojo, is ineligible - for a United side that has already lost to Sunderland twice in 2014.

First came a League Cup semi-final, which Sunderland won on penalties, before Ryan Giggs' second game as United's interim manager - as replacement for David Moyes - finished in a 1-0 home defeat.

That result was one of many surprise wins gained by Sunderland in the latter stages of last term as they avoided relegation against the odds.

Sunderland started this season with a 2-2 draw at West Brom last week, with Sebastian Larsson - scorer of the only goal at Old Trafford in May - netting an 85th-minute equaliser for Gus Poyet's side.

Despite a good recent record against United, it is 17 years since Sunderland, who will be without Emanuele Giaccherini (groin), beat them at home in a Premier League match.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Sunderland £210.00 Bet365 Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200
Returns: Draw £42.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Man Utd. £130.00 Bet365 Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200
Team News
Available Squads
25Vito MannoneGoalkeeper
27Santiago VerginiDefender
52Patrick van AanholtDefender
16John O'SheaDefender
5Wes BrownDefender
33Lee CattermoleMidfielder
11Will Buckley Striker
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
26Jack RodwellMidfielder
9Steven FletcherStriker
10Connor WickhamStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
-Billy JonesDefender
29Valentin RobergeDefender
26Liam BridcuttMidfielder
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
35Charalampos MavriasMidfielder
17Jozy AltidoreStriker
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
42Tyler BlackettDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
8Juan MataStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
40Ben AmosGoalkeeper
-Michael KeaneDefender
-Reece JamesDefender
44Adnan JanuzajMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
19Danny WelbeckStriker
23Shinji KagawaStriker

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