What a difference a year makes. 12 months ago, United emerged winners from this very ground by the same margin that sealed today’s win, their mood sombre after City’s last minute winner had deprived them of the title. Today, the players as much as the traveling fans left the Stadium of Light with an altogether different feeling as they took another step towards regaining their Premier League crown.
Fergie expected to rest most of the starting 11. 3 points still as important.
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Football fans may be many things from absurd to zealous but somewhere in between does not sit forgetful.
On the last day of last season as United trudged off the Stadium of Light pitch in the knowledge they’d just been pipped to the title by arch rivals City, Sunderland fans rejoiced and celebrated like it were them who’d just won the title. That hurt the players (Giggs has noted it as the lowest point of his glittering career), the gaffer who remarked at the time that the experience was ‘surreal’ and of course the fans who, quite rightly, were angered and gutted in equal measure.
Noon on Saturday sees United return to the scene as troubled Sunderland face-up to the reality that Martin O’Neil and his fairly expensively assembled Black Cats are well and truly involved in a relegation dog-fight to remain in a league their opponents are walking away with……are you still laughing at us Sunderland?
If you’ve been following our previews over the last few months you’ll know we lend a hand to Betegy (our favourite football predictions website) by highlighting their predictions for all United fixtures. So far the site has achieved a 92% strike rate with just Spurs deterring United from all three points in their last 11 league outings.
You can get 11.50 with Bwin for a 3-0 United win with many more bets available and a free bet.
United travel to the Stadium Of Light to take on Sunderland and are 1.67 shots with Boylesports and Coral to come away with all three points.
Sunday April 5, 2009. United, two points behind Liverpool but with two games in hand, host Aston Villa as they seek to regain top spot after a topsy-turvy last couple of weeks that has seen them squandering the lead they held on Rafa Benitez’s men.
There are surnames that carry a legacy with them, a sense of anticipation ready to turn into a heavy burden of expectations even when two players share nothing more than their last name, rather than a blood relationship. At Old Trafford, one of those surnames happens to be widely common in the isle across the Irish Sea.
If you’re a Red, it has been one of those weeks where avoiding newspapers, radio phone-ins and other media outlets suddenly becomes very advisable, in other words the sort of week that comes around regularly when England and their circus replace club football. Not that the crusade against Rio should bother us at all, after all the curtain finally drawing on his international career is what we had hoped for for the last four-five years, but the times are indeed grim when we are lectured on moral values by Steven Gerrard.
Manchester United are set to receive a timely boost for their run-in as Paul Scholes is set to make his return to first team football after the international break, when United face Sunderland away 48 hours before traveling south for the FA Cup quarter final replay against Chelsea.
Scholesy has missed the last 10 games, since appearing as a sub against Fulham in the FA Cup on January 26 and his return will be a welcome news for Sir Alex Ferguson who had previously stressed the 38-year-old will be part of his plans for the final, crucial, weeks of the season.