Manchester United – Sunderland Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson looking to extend six-point gap with Black Cats victory

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic returns to the squad after two months out with a knee injury, although Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is not sure whether the centre-back will start the game.

Jonny Evans, meanwhile, (hamstring) will miss out after being substituted against Manchester City last Sunday.

Nani and Anderson (both hamstring) are set to miss first-team action until the end of December, while this match may come too soon for Shinji Kagawa (knee), although the midfielder is due to return to first-team training on Monday.

Wayne Rooney (illness) could be rested by Sir Alex Ferguson with either Chicharito or Danny Welbeck taking his place in the team.

Antonio Valencia may also be given a break after making a surprise comeback for the Manchester City game after a spell on the sidelines following a hip injury.

Sunderland defender Wes Brown (knee) is out until the end of January, so will miss a return to his former club. Lee Cattermole (knee) has no set return date but will be a big miss for Martin O’Neill’s men.

Danny Rose, Adam Johnson (both knocks) and Phil Bardsley (knee) were substituted in the midweek win over Reading, with the Scottish full-back expected to miss the next few weeks of action, although the left-sided pair could be fit for this game.

  • United are undefeated against Sunderland in their last 17 meetings in all competitions.
  • Sunderland have just one win from their last 15 Premier League away games, losing seven and drawing seven.
  • The Black Cats have also failed to score in 14 of those 15 away matches.
  • Wayne Rooney scored his 150th Premier League goal during the 3-2 victory over Manchester City last Sunday.
  • United have only scored seven goals against Sunderland in their last three meetings – three of which were own goals by Black Cats players.
  • The Wearside club have conceded two fewer goals than United in the league this season, but trail them by 23 points after 16 games.

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