David Moyes’ under pressure Manchester United travel to Sunderland tonight for the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi final.
Their poor Premier League form, coupled with Sunday’s 2-1 third round FA Cup defeat to Swansea has seen Moyes’ side receive criticism from fans and the press alike and the Capital One Cup could be their last chance for silverware this season. United are down in 7th place in the table, 11 points behind top of the table Arsenal.
One boost for Moyes’ side is they have already beaten the Black Cats on their home turf back in October, with teenage winger Adnan Januzaj announcing himself as one-to-watch with a brace of goals.
Sunderland are another team struggling this season and currently sit bottom of the Premier League, four points adrift of safety with over half of the season gone and have not won a home game in the Premier League since their 1-0 home win over Manchester City in November.
However, they have already beaten Chelsea in the previous round, thanks to a superb comeback and will go into the game full of confidence they can pull off another upset as they play yet another home tie in this seasons competition.
Sunderland are hopeful of welcoming back their former Manchester United defensive duo of John O’Shea and Wes Brown to bolster the centre-back options. South Korea midfielder Ki Sung-yeung deputised at centre-half in Sunday’s victory against Carlisle but will be likely to move back into midfield.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is out after he limped off with a knee problem against Swansea. The former England centre half has been ruled out for two weeks. However Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick could all return to David Moyes’ line-up as they look to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat.
Robin van Perise and Wayne Rooney may well miss out again.
RUN TO THE SEMI FINALS
- Round Two: Sunderland 4-2 MK Dons
- Round Three: Sunderland 2-0 Peterborough
- Round Four: Sunderland 2-1 Southampton
- Quarter Final: Sunderland 2-1 Chelsea
- Round Three: Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool
- Round Four: Manchester United 4-0 Norwich
- Quarter Final: Stoke 0-2 Manchester United
- Sunderland have gone a staggering 20 games without a win against Manchester United in all competitions.
- United’s last defeat on Wearside was a 2-1 League Cup defeat after extra-time at the Stadium of Light in November 2000.
- David Moyes’ United side won 2-1 at Sunderland in October’s Premier League encounter.
Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United
With the second leg at Old Trafford, Sunderland will need to come out all guns blazing in the first leg and take the game to Manchester United, who have shown they will wobble under pressure this season. With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie likely to miss out again, Sunderland will have the perfect opportunity to grab this win and with Gus Poyet likely to name a full strength side, they will come away with a first leg advantage as they look to record their first win against their opposition since 2000, coincidentally a 2-1 League Cup win.