Player preview: Defoe delivers striking message

Jermain Defoe believes Sunderland will have to be at their clinical best if they are to have a chance of causing an upset at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

With eight goals in 17 Premier League appearances this season, the 34-year-old is no stranger to big game scenarios having scored over 150 top-flight goals.

Defoe combined with Adnan Januzaj and Patrick van Aanholt to devastating effect last Saturday as the flying full-back scored the all-important goal to defeat Watford 1-0.

The three points provided the perfect morale boost ahead of the Black Cats’ Boxing Day trip to Old Trafford, and while Defoe paid tribute to the quality in Manchester United’s ranks, he told his team-mates must relish the thought of causing an upset at the Theatre of Dreams.

“If you look at United now they are probably playing their best football,” he said.

“At the minute they are confident so it’s going to be a tough game. It always is though, even if they weren’t playing well, against Manchester United away at Old Trafford.

“It’s a game as players that you need to look forward to, embrace it and enjoy it.

“It’s like when we went to Liverpool because we held them out for so long. We were organised, disciplined and it was a tough game.

“At times you had to do two jobs but I thought we did well defensively and we now need to go to Old Trafford with the same mentality.

“First and foremost we are away from home against a top team so we need to try and be solid and stop them from scoring” he continued.

“When we can, if we can, try and create chances. We know at a place like Old Trafford we aren’t going to have many chances so if we do get a chance we have to take it.” 

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