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Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have found some form in crunch time this season and are yet to be beaten this month in all competitions. They have now won each of their last three games in fine fashion and are slowly moving up the points table. They are currently in the 6th place, 13 points away from the top of the table and will face Sunderland for their Boxing Day fixture this year. The Black Cats are fresh from a victory over Watford last weekend and will be hoping to put in a similar performance in this game but Mourinho’s side are high on confidence and will make it tough for Moyes’ side in this game. David Moyes, who is returning to the Old Trafford for the first time since being sacked, will hope to prove a point but that will not be easy for a club languishing at the bottom of the table. Here is the preview of this game, along with the team news, predicted lineups, betting odds and predictions:
The League game between Manchester United and Sunderland, will be played on Monday, the 26th of December at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The kick off is scheduled at 3:00 pm BST (8:30 pm IST)
Jose Mourinho was a happy man in the press conference leading to this game where he revealed that English defender Luke Shaw is the only absentee for this game against Sunderland. Winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan is back in full training and may be on the bench for this game.
David Moyes has the likes of Adnan Januzaj and Jan Kirchhoff in the squad for this game against United. Billy Jones, Manquillo, and Pienaar are all back in training but may not play a role in this game while Cattermole, Rodwell, Gooch, McNair and Watmore are all ruled out for this game.
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo; Herrera, Carrick, Pogba; Rooney, Martial; Zlatan
Pickford; Love, Kone, Djilobodji, van Aanholt; Larsson, Denayer, Ndong; Anichebe, Borini; Defoe
Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Lamine Kone:
The Manchester United striker has been in decent form in the last few games and is expected to be the biggest goals scoring threat for United in this game. However, he will be up against Kone, who has also been decent at times this season. The duo are sure to produce a battle that can set the game on fire.
Jermaine Defoe vs Phil Jones:
The Sunderland man is currently their highest scorer in the league this season and has been in sublime form in front of goal even as the Black Cats have struggled to create chances. He will trouble the United defense all night and Jones will have to be up to the task and keep him away from danger if his team are to take anything from this game.
Manchester United have lost just one of their last 24 top-flight home games against the Black Cats, in May 2014 (W16 D7).
Sunderland haven’t beaten Manchester United in successive top-flight games since 1951 (three in a row).
Manchester United have won more Premier League games on Boxing Day than any other team (18).
Jermain Defoe has scored six times on Boxing Day in the Premier League, more than any current player in the division. The record scorer on Boxing Day in Premier League history is Robbie Fowler (9). This will be the third time in their last 10 Premier League Boxing Day matches that the Black Cats have faced Manchester United; losing to twice against them in 2007 (0-4) and 2010 (0-2).
Since the start of November, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored seven goals from just eight shots on target in the Premier League.
Ibrahimovic has scored 40 goals in the month of December within the ‘big five’ European Leagues since he joined Juventus in 2004-05; his best goal tally in a single month.
Manchester United are 6th place in the Premier League table at Christmas – only the second time in the Premier League era that they are outside the top five on this date after 2013-14 (8th).
Since 2014-15 in the Premier League, Man Utd have won 64 per cent of the 44 matches that Michael Carrick has started, compared to 39 per cent of the 49 games that he hasn’t.
David Moyes managed to win 50 per cent of his games in the Premier League as Manchester United manager, a higher ratio than Jose Mourinho at the club so far (47 per cent).
Manchester United: 1/5
Playing at home, Manchester United, are expected to take all three points but Sunderland have shown at times that they can put up a fight and if United cannot dominate the game from the beginning, they may well fall into the trap of the former Manchester United manager at Old Trafford. However, the Red Devils will go into this game as favorites to take all three points from the struggling Sunderland.
Our Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland