Manchester United v Sunderland Preview

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sunderland , Premier League 27/11/2010 Sunderland Manager / Head coach, Steve Bruce points Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International 07783 913 777 Photo via Newscom
This Boxing day Manchester United will take on Sunderland at Old Trafford with the chance to go five points clear of Arsenal, who play Chelsea on Monday.

Ahead of the game, Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to rule out Arsenal's title hopes but he has said that Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur aren't a threat.

United striker Michael Owen has declared himself fit, United will also have both Nemanja Vidic and Anderson have recovered from flu. but Sir Alex Ferguson will be without Paul Scholes, John O'Shea, Owen Hargreaves and Antonio Valencia who are all out injured.

Manchester United squad: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Rafael, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Nani, Obertan, Carrick, Fletcher, Gibson, Anderson, Park, Giggs, Bebe, Rooney, Berbatov, Macheda, Hernandez and Owen.

Sunderland will be without the suspended Lee Cattermole, they will also be without Danny Welbeck who is ineligible to play against his parent club. Michael Turner, Fraizer Campbell, David Meyler, Michael Turner, Trevor Carson, Matthew Kilgallon, John Mensah and Titus Bramble will also be missing due to injuries. Anton Ferdinand should return after recovering from a back injury.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is yet to yet to defeat Sir Alex Ferguson as manager and the away side haven't beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in 42 years. There have been 130 games played between the two clubs; Man United have won 55 times, Sunderland have won 39 times and there have been 36 draws.

Phil Dowd will officiate Sunday's game. So far this season Dowd has refereed 16 games in all competitions, showing 58 yellow cards and four reds. Dowd has taken charge of two games involving United, the first was a 2-2 with Bolton in the League and the second was a 2-1 win over Wolves in the league. Dowd has also refereed two games involving Sunderland, their 1-1 draw with Arsenal and a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle.

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