Sunderland v Manchester United
Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
KO: 15:00 (GMT), Sunday 13th May 2012
Referee: Howard Webb
By Paul Bienkowski
So here we have it, the final game of the season before we go through another summer of being linked with every possible player who could sign for United. This season has been one of the worst in recent years, as from January there were just two teams who looked like they could win it. Teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool really have not done well in the league, which allowed United and City to effectively run away from them and open up a 21 point lead between 1st and 3rd place.
This has been one of the closest seasons with only goal difference separating the top two sides in the last 2 matches. City look to be favourites with the 8 goals they have over United in goal difference, but anything can happen in football!! Manchester United needs to register a win against Sunderland in order to keep the pressure on City. QPR, who play City at the Etihad Stadium, are faced with a final day relegation battle with Bolton, need only a point to stay up as the goal difference between them and Bolton is 9 goals in favour of them. Could Mark Hughes’ side do the ultimate favour for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men? Could Sunderland spoil the party for United? Could City wreck havoc and effectively sent QPR back to the Championship? Sunday will settle it all!!
In my honest opinion, I think Sir Alex Ferguson will have readied the team for a final victory of the season, which would see United win 28, draw 5 and lose 5 matches in the whole season. Which considering we are in the middle of a transition period, it’s really not a bad thing to come second on goal difference. United have had more than their fair share of injuries this season, which saw Nemanja Vidic end his season in December and Darren Fletcher played his last game in November. These are two players we have missed heavily this season, but with the fighting spirit the team has shown (apart from recently of course), it has meant they were still able to compete for the title.
The title is out of United’s hands which is why we are all hoping United end their season on a high, with a victory at the Stadium of Light, this will keep the chase on City and should they draw at the Etihad, or even lose, it’s number 20 for United! Should the result go another way at the Etihad, their 44 year wait for a league title will have ended and they will be the Champions, which is a hard pill to swallow for a hardcore United fan, but I will be first to congratulate them for the way they have played this season.
Win, lose or draw I will always support Manchester United. If we do miss out this season, it will make the management, squad and the fans hungrier for success next season.
Here’s to a great 90 minutes in Sunderland and whatever happens at the Etihad!!
COME ON UNITED!!!
Match Facts – Sunderland
- Last 10 league game form – LDDDLDDWLW
- Last 5 league home game form – DDDWW
- Last 5 home games they have taken 9 points out of 15
- Scored 10 goals in their last 10 league games & conceded 14
- Top scorer in the league is Nicklas Bendtner on 8 goals
- Top assists in the league is Stephane Sessegnon on 9
- Beaten Manchester United once in the Premier League
- 4 clean sheets in their last 10 league games
- Score an average of 1.22 goals per game and concede 1.22 goals per game
- Have achieved a clean sheet in 33% of their games
- 12 clean sheets in the Barclays Premier League this season (Simon Mignolet 11 & Keiron Westwood 1)
- 12th in Premier League Fair Play table
- 11th in the Barclays Premier League table with 45 points
Match Facts – Manchester United
- Last 10 league game form – WLDWLWWWWW
- Last 5 league away game form – LLWWW
- Last 5 away games they have taken 9 points out of 15
- Scored 22 goals in their last 10 league games, conceding 6
- Top scorer in the league is Wayne Rooney on 26 goals
- Top assists in the league is Antonio Valencia on 13
- Have played Sunderland 21 times in the Premier League, winning 15, drawing 5 and losing 1 game. United has scored 43 goals and conceded 12, also had 12 clean sheets against Sunderland
- Sunderland have scored 4 own goals against Manchester United
- The top Manchester United scorers against Sunderland are Paul Scholes 4, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 4, Dimitar Berbatov 3, Louis Saha 3 & Ruud van Nistelrooy 3
- 7 clean sheets in their last 10 league games
- Score an average of 2.38 goals per game and concede 0.89 goals per game
- Achieved a clean sheet in 51% of their games
- 19 clean sheets in the Barclays Premier League this season (De Gea 12, Lindegaard 6 & Amos 1)
- 3rd in Premier League Fair Play table
- 2nd in the Barclays Premier League with 86 points
Team News – Sunderland
Gordon, Westwood, Mignolet, Bardsley, Bridge, Turner, Brown, Kilgallon, O’Shea, Bramble, Kyrgiakos, Cattermole, Gardner, Colback, Vaughan, Meyler, McClean, Elmohamady, Sessegnon, Campbell, Wickham, Ji, Noble, Bendtner
Injuries/Doubts: Richardson, Larsson
Star Man: Nicklas Bendtner
Team News – Manchester United
De Gea, Lindegaard, Amos, Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Fabio, Evra, Valencia, Nani, Park, Scholes, Cleverley, Carrick, Giggs, Young, Rooney, Hernandez, Berbatov, Owen
Injuries/Doubts: Evans, Smalling, Welbeck, Vidic, Pogba, Anderson, Fletcher
Star Man: Antonio Valencia
Match Prediction: Sunderland 0 – 3 Manchester United
By Paul Bienkowski