Manchester United arrive in Sunderland with renewed confidence after the victory over Valencia in midweek. Following three draws on the road Sir Alex Ferguson’s side finally recorded an away win in the toughest fixture outside Old Trafford so far this season. The challenge now, is to repeat the feat domestically.
However, Ferguson will again be without Wayne Rooney for the trip to the Stadium of Light, with the striker likely to be rested by United. Although Ferguson has now reneged on his earlier claim that Rooney will be out of action for three weeks, the former Evertonian seems certain to miss United’s trip to the North East with a sore ankle.
Indeed, Ferguson claims that Rooney is desperate to play but is being held back by the Scot for fear of causing more damage. It’s a policy in stark contrast to that deployed in March, when the Scot rushed Rooney into action against Bayern Munich in the Champions League to disastrous results.
“Wayne has been playing for a few weeks now with his niggling ankle injury,” said Ferguson.
“He has kept it to himself and he is not doing himself justice. So it comes to a point where he suffers and it meant we didn’t take him to Valencia.
“He trained yesterday and, Wayne being Wayne, he wants to play of course. But I’ve got to take the view that this injury has been niggling for quite a while and he has kept on playing with it. Now we have identified that, we have to be dead sure we are doing the right thing for him.
“He thinks he’s fit because he always thinks he’s fit and that’s the problem with the lad. He’s always too willing to play even with injuries.”
Ferguson must also decide who to play in central midfield and defence with Anderson, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand all featuring in the match against Valencia on Wednesday. While the United manager may prefer to pick the trio for the trip north, it is more likely that the Scot will rotate his squad.
Ferdinand’s involvement depends on the defender’s physical reaction, with the smart money on an extra rest for the England captain against the Wearsiders. Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Wes Brown remain on standby, with Ferguson not willing to risk Ferdinand’s long-term fitness.
Anderson and Carrick, meanwhile, have completed just four matches between them this season. Darron Gibson may come into the side as an alternative, although Paul Scholes has a minor calf strain and may not feature. Meanwhile, Park Ji-Sung’s disappointing performances this season are unlikely to precipitate a change, with Ryan Giggs still a fortnight away from a return.
There is an outside chance that Owen Hargreaves will make the bench.
Ferguson must also decide whether to retain the 4-2-3-1 system that looked significantly more secure on Wednesday, or reintroduce a second striker to United’s attack. With Javier Hernández, Federico Macheda and Michael Owen each pushing for a start the dilemma is no less easy after the victory over Valencia. The Mexican’s superb finish at the Mestalla will not have gone unnoticed.
The Scot surely must not countenance a fourth draw in the Premier League this season after United failed to capitalise on Chelsea’s loss at Manchester City last week. Ferdinand says that it is essential United does not let Chelsea extend the lead, with the Londoners due to face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“The seasons we have lost the league have been when we’ve given teams a head-start,” said the 31-year-old defender.
“But as long as we kick on now and get a good run of victories we will be OK.
“When you drop points against anyone, you put yourself under pressure but now the gap is three again, which I wouldn’t say is a massive difference at this stage of the season.”
Meanwhile, former United defender Steve Bruce faces the realistic prospect of a fifth United victory in a row at the Stadium of Light. Indeed, United has lost only once at the Black Cat’s new home since its opening in 1999 – 2-1 in the Carling Cup fourth round, in November 2000 – and won six of the last seven.
The 49-year-old manager will be without former United players Frazier Campbell and Kieren Richardson through injury, while Danny Welbeck is ineligible to play against his parent club. Anton Ferdinand and John Mensah are also rated doubtful for United’s visit.
Sunderland – 442 – Mignolet, Bardsley, Onuoha, Bramble, Turner; Cattermole, Malbranque, Henderson, Al-Muhammadi; Bent, Gyan. Subs from: Gordon, Da Silva, Zenden, Riveros, Reid, Colback, Angeleri, Riveros.
Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Amos, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, O’Shea, Evans, Rafael, Brown, Anderson, Bébé, Nani, Carrick, Gibson, Fletcher, Park, Hernández, Berbatov, Macheda, Owen, Obertan.
Referee: Chris Foy
Assistant referees: Andy Garratt & Andy Madley
Fourth official: Paul Tierney
Sunderland – DDDWLD
United – DDWWDW
115 thoughts on “Ferguson seeks Light relief on Wearside”
i can’t see smalling starting ahead of rio
other than that, your line up is interesting but worried about park not having any impact today
if we get berbs to perform then 2-0
Take ya pick.
put will probably be fine against malbranue, an equally useless runabouty winger
Park cant do shit for attack,.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, O’Shea, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson, Macheda, Owen.
Subs: Kuszczak, Evra, Berbatov, Smalling, Hernandez, Gibson, Bebe.
01 Van der Sar
21 Rafael Da Silva
29 Kuszczak, 03 Evra, 12 Smalling, 28 Gibson, 09 Berbatov, 14 Hernandez, 33 Tiago Bebe
Fergie Fergie… what’s going on…
Could be 442 with Owen & Macheda up front and Anderso on the wing
But more likely Kiko will be out wide and Owen up front on his own
451 is the way to go against these cunt ‘cos they’re hard. But Owen up front on his bill?! Sink or swim
Now O’Shea is at left back?!? He must be playing that “you lied to my mum about having had a vasectomy, so she didn’t take any precautions” card for all it’s worth. Oh well, it could be worse; imagine Park in front of him, on the wing… *shudders*
kick off is now 3.20pm
The yanks on my stream think it’s kicking off after the break
A burst pipe above the Manchester United dressing room has caused the ceiling to collapse
from the bbc
sabotage i guess
Awwww for FUCK SAKE!!!… haggis faced, whisky guzzling, Glazer blowing, piss taking, cunt!
Why is Berbatov sitting on the bench? Why is O’Shite playing instead of Evra?
Why can’t this fucker just take the fuckin game seriously anymore, instead of playing silly buggers with his fuckin lineups and formations?
Fuck, fuck, fuck, I’m getting so fuckin sick of this shit!
so u slightly miffed then alf?
oh ffs sitting here waiting for kick off is getting me angry
Alf, you forgot Hernandez being benched for Owen despite scoring the winner
Sopcast – 1172 running well.
owen is best as an impact sub
he doesnt have the legs to play a full game
i would have preferred sweet pea with roman gladiator up front
still theres berbs to bring on when we need to
Ahh Sid… what can you say?
Ferguson really is talking the piss now… I think he’s just being a stubborn twat… believing his own legend… everyone has been criticizing his management lately, and his loyalty to the Glazers, and he’s going to prove that he can win in spite of what everyone thinks.
players on the pitch
come on united
Hernandez strikes me as the kind of naive innocent person who will be pretty devastated by being ommitted from the team despite playing well
Evra is woefully out of form and needs to be dropped IMO. Tough call re Hernandez or Owen – but Owen hasn’t started a match since January and he has scored 3 goals in 2 games. If we can’t play him against Sunderland when are we going to play him?
Not much wrong with the team there. Bit surprised that Berbatov isn’t playing given internationals are next week but he’s on the bench and can come on if needed. The likes of Owen and Macheda need matches.
Nah… I bet Ferguson is giving him the… “I think of you as a son”… spiel… Chico will sit patiently… for a seasonn anyway… believing his future is safe in the hands of “my Scottish Father”!
Coomentator just said Ferdinand stood up on the plane all the way home from Valencia to avoid aggrevating his back injury
Sheeshy… Evra may well be out of form, but O’Shea has no form… except SHITE!
well SAF didnt get it wrong with most of the younger players in the past
i think sweet pea will understand
well its the 1st time he has started “back to back” games since April……
Well, yes that’s true, but the only other alternative is perma-crock Fabio. I think dropping Evra might be a kick up the arse that he needs.
Players like Evra need to realise that they’re not automatic starters (even if we all know that they are really).
We need to wake up
Yeah, wake up to find this is all just a bad dream.
20 mins gone
no shots on or off target from us
come on reds
We’re going to get done today… can’t wait to hear Fergusons reasoning.
Sunderland close again
Wonder if he’ll blame it on the burst pipe.
WTF was O’Shea doing there?
We’re constantly going long or playing it backwards because the midfield have no time on the ball
Fergie will be pleased with this though. Keep it tight & nick a late winner
im sure it will be a tight contest between the burst pipe and the euro away day
or the fact that united dont have enough of our fans in the away end
Great shot Zenden, post
Tehy could be 3-0 up
We’ve had what, 1 shot on target?
Nice to see a bit of graft from Anderson.
1st shot off target from united after 37 mins……
i think SAF needs to send this bunch in to the dressing room with the burst pipe and give them all a cold fucking shower
Please not another draw FFS.
Before this match is over, you could be begging for a draw.
well playing the shite way we have in this half id be happy with a point
Bloody hell, that was hard to watch.
I’m going for a shit… and I bet it’ll be more entertaining.
Typical United performance after a Euro away; flat as fuck, no x factor
Macheda and Owen aren’t making the ball stick. They’ve provided fuck all. Worst attacking display I’ve seen for years
The midfield is bogged down because Sunderland aren’t giving our lads time to play it. It’s just a battle, and we’re losing
But at least its still 0-0. After the Bolton game I had a bet with my mate that we’d lose 4-1
i can’t remember the last time united have played the 1st half and managed only 1 shot at the opponents goal – off target or otherwise
can anyone see anything but a 1-0 win for sunderland?
why does fergie insist on making wholesale changes after every fucking game?
Why do we always play shite after a midweek game in Europe? I just don’t get it. We were playing in Spain, not fucking Senegal.
we don’t have a left wing.
or a right wing or a midfield….
Back 4 good..rest crap… kick some bolluxs Alex
good solid perfomance from the lads
2-0 to united
Yes, the officials haven’t got many wrong, have they?
need to make some changes in the 2nd half but looking at the options on the bench except berbs, then theres not an awful lot
still there’s always gibc*nt if we really are desperate
Cap in a late 90s time loop..wake up m8
lol….glad someone got it
come on united
Much better though
Scholes on the ball further forward with more time
If it’s still 0-0 after an hour… why not bring Evra on to play left wing?
was berbs offside?
About 2 yards
Same as Drogba at Old Trafford last year
cheers for that sidney
We’re dominating the ball this half
Just need to carve an opening and we’ll be in
Come on Hernandez bag us a goal you cunt
Here comes Chico… his pace should give their defence summat to worry about.
come on sweet pea
give us ur 1st league goal
Another let off
Where was Raf?!
Rafa caught waaaay out of position there.
Wahey… a shot on target.
76 minutes gone and their keeper makes a save, at last
we are a fucking disgrace… van der vaart playing out of his skin for spurs, what a payer he could have been for us
Bebe coming on?
Fergie gambling now bringing Bebe on
Last throw of the dice
Yep… but he was too expensive.
So close from Berba
come on united
yeah..8 million is a hell of a lot to us now,
The only positive, is a clean sheet… good to see Rio and Vidic… hope they both keep fit for a run of games.
But when all you can say is a clean sheet is the best we’ve got to be happy about… well, that’s just depressing.
A point wouldn’t be so bad if we hadn’t drawn v. Everton, Fulham & Everton away too.
Bolton not Everton twice!
Have a word with yourself Ferguson.
The fire is well and truely out…anyone got a match?
Once Bebe came on we fianlly had a team on the pitch that looked capable of scoring and winning the game
First half was a write off thanks to Fergie and too many noshows
The one positive is the second consecutive clean sheet. But a better team would have finished a few of those Sunderland chances.
Agreed the pace that Fergie brought on made a big impact – we at least looked like we could create something.
Fergie should have played Hernandez and Berba from the start today. I don’t care how shit our central midfielders are. We shouldnt be worrying what Sunderland can do to us.
how can fergie not see what we are lacking in midfield. its a fucking outrage
I’d love to know what Fergie’s thinking has been since the total spanking the midfield got in Rome in 2009.
That night it was clear we needed to rip it up and start again. Instead we’ve got the same players who have all regressed even further (bar Fletch who’s been excellent until this season).
We can’t wait for Pogba and Morrison we need de Rossi or an affordable version running all over the pitch for us now. Now being able to play 442 away to Sunderland says it all.
What the hell were we doing for the first 45 minutes? A disappointing result considering the results in our previous away games.
Chelsea will run away with the league at this rate.
FFS Selling Tevez was the cockup, he dont wait for a ball to drop at his feet nor does he take a back seat whilst dreaming on past glories in scouseland.
Think I’ll move over to the Love Knobby Hate Fergie Brigade soon.
We didn’t sell Tevez.
Have the fucking knobhead Glazer-sympathising Fergie-can-do-no-wrong dickhead United fans (particularly those on the Caf) realised we should have strengthened in summer yet, or is it gonna take a full season of these disappointing results and shocking performances before it dawns upon them? Fuck sake
That douche scored 5 league goals the year he left.
Fook all of you..Tevez has the stuff of wot Legends are made of..Fergie fooked the signing of Tevez up..he wanted to stay! what have we now?..a has been and a leasure striker who gets the balls spoon fed so as its sooooo easy to shine..ffs.
so you would have paid £47M for a guy who scored 5 league goals?
One who scores and MAKES goals..yes! and runs his bolluxs off for the team..another yes..the team today should give their wages back!
What Vidic, VDS and Rio too?
Tevez certainly has form at the Stadium of Light this year. Just how far did he sky it for that open goal again?
Ah well good that we had a little do for my lads 18th today at least I missed what appears to be another shite showing.
Along with a poor midfield showing… we also saw today how much we miss a fighting fit Rooney.
Fergie’s post match comments http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=293003&cc=5739
“Sunderland had the most chances in the game and I have to say we were fantastic defensively. That’s the area in which we have been leaking goals and throwing games away this season, so I am pleased with that.
“It was a very determined Sunderland team, their home record this season has been very, very good, so I am not pleased but I am satisfied.
Asked about his side’s failure to date to win a league game on the road, Ferguson said: “It’s a concern, the first three. I can’t class today’s as a disappointment because we had to battle to get the point today. But we have thrown the other three away.
“We had no attacking purpose in the first 25 minutes of the match. It wasn’t until towards the end of the first half that we got any semblance of keeping possession of the ball. In the second half we did a lot better, there was more threat by us, but they had chances from set-pieces.”
He’s satisfied with a point
“”Fergies Lost It””
Really fucking worrying when Fergie’s fine with a point against Sunderland.
It’s as if Ferguson has accepted that our financial situation means we are now a midtable club, and therefore this is a fair result.
I fully expect Chumpski to give Sunderland a pasting, and anything less would be seen as a disappointment… but United fans need now appreciate, that Sunderland is now a team that Ferguson considers an equal.
I might be going out on a limb here and enterting the realm of conspiracy, but maybe Fergie is showing the Glazers what the squad is capable of
He has said he supports them as long as there is money available
getting sick of fletcher playing as shite as he wants and still being an automatic pick, steve sidwell can’t get in villas team so why can fletcher get in ours
Blimey Sid… you’re not half groping.
van der vart looks great on motd, I thought he was shit
He’s a bloody good player… too good for United.
phelan talks like a lower division manager
shocker it was fletcher who lost malbranque for the one on one chance, horrendous player
someone shoot michael owen.
what a fucking embarassment. why the fuck does fergie have to chop and change every fucking game? its frustrating beyond belief. and his genius idea is to start a returning anderson, scholes and rio in a team with 2 teenagers and michael fucking owen, not to mention the complete absence of a left winger or left full back.
disaster written all over that lineup.
on the plus side, berba and chicharito linked up quite well a couple of times. there might be something there. but of course, owen needs minutes to regain his form to make his experience count……or something.