Sunderland v Man Utd: Billy Jones will return, but van Aanholt is under pressure

Billy Jones
Billy Jones
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Billy Jones will return to the Sunderland side at Manchester United on Saturday, despite DeAndre Yedlin’s encouraging debut in red and white.

But Dick Advocaat says Yedlin’s performance in Tuesday’s thrashing by Manchester City has put pressure on left-back Patrick van Aanholt, with the Sunderland boss prepared to switch one of his two right-backs to the opposite flank.

I cannot take Jones out because in their previous two games, he was the best player.

Advocaat got the opportunity to assess Yedlin in a competitive encounter for the first time in the Capital One Cup third round defeat and there were some positive signs from the American international, even if the defensive aspect of his game requires more work.

Yedlin provided the assist for Ola Toivonen’s consolation goal after earlier delivering a perfect cross that the Swede should have converted when Sunderland were only 1-0 down.

But Sunderland boss Advocaat has been pleased by the improvement from Jones in the last two games and the ex-West Brom man will return to the starting XI at Old Trafford this weekend.

However, Advocaat has not ruled out the prospect of dropping error-prone van Aanholt, with both Jones and Yedlin capable of filling in at left-back.

“Yedlin definitely did well, to be fair to him,” said Advocaat.

“I gave him the chance and he did well, which is good to know.

“He was not a regular with his team, but he showed his commitment which was good.

“But I cannot take Jones out because in the previous two games, he was the best player.

“Now our left-back also has a bit of competition.

“We can always put one player to the left side, which is a good option.”

Jones’ return will be one of several changes Advocaat makes at Old Trafford.

Costel Pantilimon will return after back-up stopper Vito Mannone endured a miserable outing against Man City, while Younes Kaboul is back from suspension and is likely to replace Sebastian Coates in central defence.

And after Lee Cattermole produced a positive contribution as a half-time substitute, the Teessider could be handed his first start in four games.