Manchester United finally look to be clicking into gear under Jose Mourinho and should now be looking to finish 2016 on a high.
They have won three consecutive matches in the Premier League for the first time since August, but haven’t managed four straight wins in the same campaign since April 2015.
Sunderland picked up a valuable 1-0 win over Watford at the weekend but have been dire on the road this season.
They have lost six of their eight Premier League away matches this season and have failed to score in each of their last two away from home, shipping seven in the process. In fact, they have only managed to score in one of their last six away league matches. Naija and Bet
In order to keep on the tails of their rivals, United should expect nothing else other than six points from their next two matches at home to Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Given Sunderland’s abysmal away form, it may not be a happy return to Old Trafford for David Moyes.
Manchester United – Chris Smalling returned to first-team action after nearly two months out with a toe injury in the dying embers of Manchester United’s 2-0 win away to West Brom on Saturday. With Eric Bailly also expected to return to the team on Boxing Day, Jose Mourinho now has plenty of options at the heart of his defence.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has missed United’s last two matches with an ankle injury but is expected to return for the reception of Sunderland on Monday. Luke Shaw, the last of Mourinho’s injury concerns, remains sidelined.
Wayne Rooney has started in each of United’s last two matches after a time on the bench and may keep his place in the team on Boxing Day with Anthony Martial still out in the cold.
Sunderland – Adnan Januzaj is ineligible to play against his parent club on Boxing Day due to the terms in his loan agreement.
Billy Jones missed Sunderland’s 1-0 win over Watford with a hip injury and the right-back remains a doubt here. With Javier Manquillo also a doubt, Donald Love may feature against his boyhood club. Steven Pienaar is also a question mark ahead of Monday’s fixture.
David Moyes is still without Paddy McNair, Lee Cattermole, Lynden Gooch, Jack Rodwell, Jan Kirchhoff and Duncan Watmore here. Kirchoff is out for a further 12 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Man Utd’s last 5 home games (Premier League).
Man Utd have won 6 of their last 7 home matches against Sunderland in all competitions.
Man Utd have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 home matches against Sunderland in all competitions.
Sunderland have failed to score in 5 of their last 6 away matches (Premier League).
Man Utd have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 3 Premier League matches.
Sunderland have lost 5 of their last 6 away matches (Premier League).
Man Utd have won their last 3 matches in Premier League.