Sunderland vs Manchester United – Starting XI

by Tom Newbold

David de GeaThe only debate in David Moyes’ goalkeeper selection currently comes with who he will select on the bench. De Gea’s starting spot is undisputed.

Rafael: Rafael is now well on the way back from the injury that disrupted his start to the season.

Jonny Evans: Evans is in line for a start against the club he was once on loan at after not featuring midweek against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Nemanja Vidic: A mammoth midweek performance, combined with Rio Ferdinand’s loss of form, means Vidic should start in the North East on Saturday.

Patrice Evra: Two recent starts for Alexander Buttner make it very unlikely Evra will be displaced for a second Premier League game in a row.

sunderland-away-2013Nani: Nani should be given a start against Sunderland after missing out in midweek.

Michael CarrickAnother England call-up for Michael Carrick in the last few days should inspire him to another accomplished performance on Saturday evening.

Tom Cleverley: An impressive performance in the Champions League on Wednesday may have sealed Cleverley his place in Saturday’s starting XI.

Shinji Kagawa: Opportunities have been limited for Kagawa this season but this trip to Sunderland could be another opportunity for the Japanese playmaker to prove himself.

Wayne RooneyDespite keeping quiet on Rooney in his press conference, Moyes is likely to select United’s in-form man if he shows the required fitness to play.

Robin van Persie: The Dutchman cut an isolated figure against Shakhtar on Wednesday but the addition of Kagawa, Rooney and Nani to the team would provide the assistance for van Persie perform to his best.

Formation: 4-4-1-1

The potential reuniting of Van Persie and Rooney in the starting XI is an exciting prospect, as is the versatility and flexibility of Kagawa and Nani on the wings. The disadvantage of Kagawa and Nani is undoubtedly their defensive work, meaning Moyes requires his first-choice full-backs to have a good performance.

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