On paper, Manchester United have been handed the perfect bounce-back game in the English Premier League.
David Moyes and his men are scheduled to face a Sunderland side, without a permanent manager, and struggling at the bottom of the table with a mere points from their opening six matches.
Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie looks to get past West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob in their English Premier League game, September 28
After two straight Premier League losses to Manchester City and West Brom, if there ever was a perfect opportunity to get your Premier League campaign back on track this is it. And if Moyes and his troops cannot come away from the Stadium of Light with all three points, then the backlash will reach unprecedented levels.
The Champions League match at Shakhtar Donetsk was better from United in terms of performance, even if it only yielded one point. Play in a similar vein against Sunderland, and all three points should be theirs.
"It's an important game we want to win," Moyes said. "We'll pick a team that we think can get a result. They're really good players. They know themselves the standards they have set over the years and, together, we'll work to get it right. I've got no doubt about that.
"Anybody who comes into a new job, you learn as you get on and as you go along. I'm doing that as well. I already knew I was coming to a place with really good players but we'll also have difficult times as well.
"I think I went there last time with Everton when Paolo Di Canio had just got the job and I lost in that game," recalled the boss. "It was probably one of the only games I lost at Everton in the last 11 or 12 matches. We didn't lose that many.
"We go up there now with a new manager again, Kevin Ball, but Kevin has been there (for a while). He's very experienced, he knows the club and knows the players. He'll have watched all the games and he'll know what he has to do in this short-term period."
Sunderland performed quite well against Liverpool in their last Premier League game, and were probably unlucky to lose 3-1. Kevin Ball has brought some heart into this side, and once the results start coming, they should continue their climb up the table.
Team News: Wayne Rooney might feature for United after the England forward missed the Champions League game against Shakhtar with a shin injury. "I've not seen Wayne this morning so I couldn't give you an update yet," Moyes said on Friday. Rio Ferdinand is also a doubt with a calf problem.
Sunderland will have to do without the services of Steven Fletcher (shoulder), Phil Bardsley (foot), Wes Brown (calf) and Andrea Dossena (thigh).
Key men: Sunderland: Lee Cattermole typified Sunderland's spirit in the game against Liverpool, with the home crowd also giving their backing to the midfielder. Cattermole will be expected to go out and put a few tackles early in the game to stop United from finding their flow.
Manchester United: If Rooney is not passed fit, although he is expected to be, the onus will be on Robin Van Persie, who has had a forgettable start to the season.
Where to watch
The match is scheduled for a 10 p.m. (IST) start with it set for a live telecast on ESPN and ESPN HD. You can also catch the match live online by clicking the official link HERE.
Expected lineups: Sunderland: Westwood; Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Colback; Cattermole; Johnson, Ki, Giaccherini, Larsson; Altidore.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Fellaini, Carrick; Nani, Rooney, Welbeck; Van Persie.
Prediction: 3-1 to Manchester United
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