Struggling Sunderland host Man Utd, while Toon tackle Chelsea
Lee Gormley | February 11, 2016
Sunderland v Manchester United
- Premier League
- Saturday, February 12th
- Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
- Stadium of Light, Sunderland
- Live on BT Sport 1
Struggling Sunderland welcome Man Utd
Two teams at opposite ends of the Premier League table collide at the Stadium of Light for Saturday’s afternoon kick-off, as relegation strugglers Sunderland host top four challengers Manchester United.
Time is running out for Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats in their bid to beat the drop for another season, having falling four points from safety at second from bottom, while Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils have lost pace in the race for a Champions League position.
The visitors are hoping to hear that famous Champions League anthem blurring at Old Trafford again next season and a win over Sunderland can help their cause, with an away victory to nil a 7/4 chance with Coral, having lost just two of their 29 Premier League clashes with the Wearsiders.
Hosts hold hapless history in fixture
Such is the Red Devils’ fixture superiority, they have incredibly never lost a Premier League encounter at the Stadium of Light, with Sunderland’s last home league win coming 19 years ago when Roker Park was their home.
Although, with Allardyce’s Northeast outfit having come from two goals down to snatch a precious point against Liverpool last time out, they are 12/5 to earn another stalemate here or 15/4 to stun United by taking all the spoils.
Home boss Allardyce is regarded for having never faced relegation from the top flight during his managerial career, having helped the likes if Bolton Wanderers and his current club’s rivals Newcastle avoid the drop. Though, that record has never come under as serious a threat until this term.
It’s home form that Allardyce will have to overturn if he wants to hold on to that record, with the Stadium of Light crowd having only witnessed three wins all season, with their club possessing the second-worst record on their own patch, ahead of only rock-bottom Aston Villa.
Revived Rooney to spearhead attack
Man Utd’s in-form skipper Wayne Rooney will once again spearhead his side’s attack on their visit to Wearside, and he is 6/1 to bag a brace or more, while starlets Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are 6/4 and 7/4 to dispatch anytime.
For the hopeful home outfit, Jermain Defoe is key to any success in this fixture and is the linchpin of their survival hopes, making the Black Cats hitman 2/1 to get on the scoresheet anytime.
With Jose Mourinho seemingly waiting in the wings for the Old Trafford hotseat, Van Gaal is already under pressure to, at least, deliver Champions League football to Man Utd for next season and a win over Sunderland would help such a pursuit.
Chelsea v Newcastle United
- Premier League
- Saturday, February 12th
- Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
- Stamford Bridge, London
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Toon tracking another Chelsea coup
Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea have enjoyed a successful domestic rejuvenation under temporary coach Guus Hiddink once again, and they next face a Newcastle side fighting for their lives at depths of the top flight table.
Steve McClaren’s Magpies are only a single point above the drop zone, so gaining a result over the Blues on their travels to Stamford Bridge is vital to survival hopes, and they are 13/2 to earn a crucial victory in London.
Chelsea have had both teams score in their last five successive home clashes and are 2/1 to triumph while conceding again this time around, as they push further up the standings after a disastrous start under previous mentor Mourinho.
Clinical Costa could topple Toon
Diego Costa has arguably undergone the biggest revival of form under Dutchman Hiddink this season, after rediscovering his form and aggressive edge in recent weeks, and the Brazilian-born Spain international is 7/2 to open proceedings.
Samba star Oscar is 5/4 to strike anytime too, having also overturned a previous poor spell, while his club and international teammate Willian is 10/3 to add to his reverse fixture goal.
For the hosts, on-loan Seydou Doumbia is 11/4 to dispatch on his potential debut, with deadly Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum available at the same price to add to his impressive season tally, after helping earn a point in the previous meeting.