SUNDERLAND’S first home Premier League game of the season doesn’t get much more glamorous than having Manchester United as the visitors this weekend.
The two teams faced each us four times last season in league and cup, and there wasn’t much between them in any of those games.
By their standards, United had a shocker of a season last year and it seemed their players couldn’t cope without Sir Alex Ferguson, as they failed to perform for David Moyes.
It just shows the expectation levels of both clubs that United’s seventh placed finish was deemed unacceptable, while our fans would view that spot as cause for celebration.
United’s surprise defeat in their first game of the season to Swansea wasn’t what they expected and didn’t get Louis van Gaal’s new reign off to the start he would have wished for.
Manchester United are a huge club, with players who are household names, but they have problems and look vulnerable at the moment, so Sunderland shouldn’t go into this game showing any fear.
Sunderland’s performance against West Brom last weekend showed signs of promise, but I would expect us to improve and with a passionate crowd right behind the team from the off, they can add to United’s problems.
It would be extremely foolish to write United off on the basis of one defeat, but they are a team in transition and even van Gaal has admitted his players are suffering from a lack of confidence.
I’m sure our fans are eagerly looking forward to going to the Stadium of LIght for the first time since May, I certainly am, and with a mouth-watering fixture against opponents who even at this early stage are under pressure, it could be a fascinating afternoon.