David Moyes returns to Old Trafford this afternoon of the back of making comments in regards to his former employers losing the traditions that made them so great in the past. If Moyes’ return was interesting than those comments may well have just lit the blue touch paper.
Hosts Manchester United currently find themselves 6th in the Premier League and 4 points off of Arsenal in 4th. After back to back wins over both Tottenham and West Brom their chances of getting back into the top four have been enhanced.
United now haven’t lost since Jose Mourinho’s embarrassing defeat to Chelsea in late October. Since then it has been 8 unbeaten but you would probably argue that there have been a few too many draws in that unbeaten sequence of results.
Last week Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed his class at United ran out 2-0 winners at West Brom. It was his double that was the difference at The Hawthorns as they eased to victory over Tony Pulis’ side. A goal within the first 5 minutes set United on their way and from there they never looked back as they solidified 6th in the table.
But 6th is nowhere near good enough for a squad of this stature and they know that from the Christmas period and beyond they are going to not only have to continue this unbeaten run but make sure that it’s a run of wins in a similar vein to Mourinho’s former club Chelsea.
At 13 points off the title pace you do have to wonder whether or not the title is already out of their grasp but that said a top four place is still more than achievable and they can put more pressure on the quintet of clubs above them by picking up a win at home to Sunderland this afternoon.
Visitors Sunderland come here laying 18th in the table and a point from getting out of the drop zone. Although their own task of staying up has just been made slightly harder by the fact that Sam Allardyce has just been appointed Crystal Palace manager who themselves sit in 17th.
All Sunderland can do is try and get as many positive results and not worry about the clubs around them too much. You get the feeling that David Moyes is going to be up for getting one over his former employers as he looks to lift Sunderland out of the bottom three.
Last Saturday saw The Black Cats move off the bottom thanks to a 1-0 win over Watford. Patrick Van Aanholt’s second half strike was the difference as Watford were consigned to a second straight defeat and a victory that meant it was Sunderland’s 4th win in their last 7 matches.
When they traveled to Liverpool it was an incredibly defensive performance that day and you would have to imagine that it will probably more of the same later Today. Moyes knows that his sides lacks real quality so you get the feeling it’s going to have to be another pragmatic approach.
There is also the added subplot of Wayne Rooney still looking for that goal to equal Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for Manchester United. Imagine if he got the goal against the manager that have gave him his big break at Everton. It’s almost written in the stars.
For every week that Rooney looks for the record then expect a glimpse of Bobby Chalrton in the crowd but regardless of whether or not Rooney gets the goal I can’t see anything other than a United win this afternoon in front of their own fans. Home win for me.