Preview: Sunderland v Man Utd

by Kate Smith

A look ahead to the Red Devils' visit.

Emanuele Giaccherini will be hoping to become the first Sunderland player, since Darren Bent in August 2010, to score in three consecutive home games when Manchester United come to the Stadium of Light on Saturday evening.

The Italian international has notched in the Black Cats’ last two matches on Wearside against Peterborough United and Liverpool respectively.

Giaccherini and his teammates will be looking to inflict a third consecutive defeat on the Red Devils who last lost three league games in a row in December 2001.

David Moyes’ side split their two league defeats with an impressive Capital One Cup win over Liverpool and a draw in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk and they’ll be looking to continue a record on Wearside which has seen them not lose a league game here since March 1997.

Sunderland’s interim head coach Kevin Ball was part of the last two Black Cats sides to beat Manchester United on Wearside. In only his second appearance for the club, goals from Gary Owers and Gary Bennett gave Denis Smith’s side a 2-1 win in 1990 before Michael Gray and John Mullin earned Peter Reid’s side the same score-line seven years later.

The Red Devils have lost three of their opening six league games for the first time since the 1989/90 season - they also lost their seventh league game in that season.

This fixture has produced more than two goals on only one occasion in the last seven encounters yet goals can be expected with Sunderland yet to achieve a clean sheet in the league this season whilst United have kept only two in their opening six games.

Saturday evening’s fixture will be the 136th meeting between the two sides with United winning over 44% (60) of the games compared to Sunderland’s 39 successes, whilst there have been 35 draws.