Sunderland v Manchester United - Five players under the spotlight

David Moyes and Manchester United will look to bounce back from two straight league defeats as they travel to bottom placed side Sunderland.

Moyes cannot afford to have a bad performance on Saturday because then the pressure will really start to build.

He will be looking for a response from his side against their struggling opponents. This is a good time to face the Black Cats because of the miserable run of form they are on.

Sunderland were soundly beaten by Liverpool a week ago and there are not too many reasons to think this game will be any different.

You really can’t look past a comfortable Manchester United win and maybe this will be the result needed to get them back on track in the Premier League.

Odds: Sunderland 5/1, Draw 31/10, Manchester United 11/17

Last meeting:

Sunderland 0 – 1 Manchester United – March 30th 2013, The Stadium of Light

The score didn’t really tell the story of the game as Manchester United dominated the Black Cats and took another step towards the league title.

Titus Bramble deflected Robin van Persie’s shot into his own net for the only goal half way through the first half and Sunderland never really had a look in after that, it wasn’t a vintage performance from United but they ground out an important win.

Five players to watch on Saturday:

John O’Shea

The Sunderland captain will be up against his former team and he will be tasked with steadying the ship at Sunderland after a disastrous start to their league campaign. He will need to be on top of his game on Saturday evening as he will be up against a Manchester United side out to prove a point.

Wayne Rooney

Rooney missed the midweek trip to Donetsk through illness but is expected to make the squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light. Throughout their poor run Rooney has been the one bright spot for United, he scored in the defeat against City so David Moyes will be hoping he can take the responsibility this weekend.

Rio Ferdinand

After his poor performance against West Brom and Manchester City Ferdinand will be under pressure to put in a good showing this weekend - If selected. Manchester United can’t afford to have another poor defensive performance no matter who they are playing. Ferdinand is a veteran presence in the side and is expected to hold things together, but may miss out depending on fitness and whether David Moyes prefers Jonny Evans.

David De Gea

The United goalkeeper had an outstanding campaign last season and has started this season in a similar style. The defensive problems United are having will put even more pressure on him to maintain his level of play.

Lee Cattermole

He seemed to be cut out of the squad during Paolo Di Canio’s reign but now he has fully recovered from his injuries he can become an important part of the Sunderland squad. He may not be the most talented player but he always works hard for his team and when he came off against Liverpool last weekend there was a noticeable drop in the team’s play.

image: © Rach

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