Manchester United vs Sunderland
|Date & Time||Saturday February 13, 2016, 7:45 AM (EST)|
The Line: Sunderland 21/4 Draw 13/5 Manchester United 4/5
Bt Sport; NBC Sports; Westwood One sports
Huge game for both teams in the early kick off on Saturday as Sunderland host Manchester United with both teams in need of the three points. Sam Allardyce's Sunderland have played well in recent games without much reward. A draw at Liverpool last week though was evidence of the teams's willingness to fight as they came from 2-0 down to get the point. Jermain Defoe is going to be the key man for Sunderland as they will need goals and Defoe is clearly the top threat for the black cats. A solid set up in midfield is a base for Sunderland to build on and M'Vila, Cattermole, Johnson provide the grit and creativity. Sunderland were excellent against Manchester City in the Stadium of light a couple of weeks ago and were very unlucky not to get something from the game, ending up the wrongside of a 1-0 scoreline.
Manchester United really went to London looking for a win and were desperately unlucky to come away from Stamford Bridge with just a point as Chelsea scored a late equaliser through Diego Costa. Louis Van Gaal's men were really good last week though and have followed up excellent performances against Derby and Stoke. This is probably the first time all season Manchester United have looked this competetent and confident. While the title is probably out of the question the top four is not yet gone but United simply must win games like this one. Memphis Depay while being made a scape goat for the goal conceded last week is finding form from the bench and Rooney, Martial and Mata have been excellent in recent games. Jesse Lindgaard's emergence has been much needed but so to has the sureness of Schneiderlein, Carrick and the much maligned Fellaini in the midfield. This team has the ability to finish in the top four but they must show the fight and determination to go away to a relegation struggler like Sunderland and win if the top four is going to be a realistic opportunity.
While I havent been optimistic about Manchester United for a long time I think I have seen enough in recent weeks to believe this team is going in the right direction and I think while Sunderland away is a tough game I think United have enough quality to get the win here. Still not going big on this but there is just enough value at 4/5 to take this and go with an early win for the away team to get the weekend started well.