Have Manchester United gone backwards under Mourinho?

Manchester United’s season has been filled with ups and downs so far. Jose Mourinho’s side are trailing the top four by six points but do have two games in hand. As we know, they have already won the League Cup and remain on course to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League but their exit from the FA Cup to Chelsea crushed their hopes of a cup treble. Many United fans remain happy with the appointment of Mourinho but have they gone backwards since he took over last summer?

By comparing how they performed last season under Louis Van Gaal it is clear to see there have been a huge number of changes at United and with plenty of games still to come, their 2016/17 campaign still has a lot to unveil.

Premier League

Last season United missed out on the top four on goal difference. Although they qualified for Europe it wasn’t for the competition they were hoping for. They are 17 points off their total tally of 66 reached in the 2015/16 campaign but they do have 12 games left in the league, a possible 36 points to play for. If United were to win every game to the end of the season they could even be within a chance of winning the league, but the reality is their form has been too inconsistent, hence why they’ve been outside the top four for so long.

The Premier League has been fiercely competitive again this season and the race for a Champions League finish is being hotly contested by six teams. United have spent nearly £160 million since Mourinho took the job and he needs to improve on last year’s 5th-placed finish but at this stage of the season that is up in the air.

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FA Cup

The Red Devils won the FA Cup last season. Although cup competitions are luck of the draw, United will be disappointed not to have reached the semi-finals and another trip to Wembley. While it is very difficult to consistently win domestic cups, by not reaching the next round Man Utd have failed to equal their performance levels of last year’s FA Cup run.

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Europe

United are on course to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Realistically this may be their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season and Mourinho will be aware he has two chances to get the club back in the mix with Europe’s elite. If United are to win this competition, that and the League Cup would be an obvious sign of progression at the club.

They can better last season’s performance in Europe, where they failed to make it out of their UCL group and were knocked out in the round of 16 in the Europa League.

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League Cup

Mourinho’s record in the competition speaks for itself. While it may be United’s only competitive silverware this season, it’s still a trophy worth winning. By comparison, there is a good chance that this trophy alone will see United end the season with more silverware than a number of their rivals and they improved on their League Cup performance from last season where they exited the competition in the fourth round.

There is still a huge amount of work for Mourinho to do at United to get the club back to the highest level and if he were to win the Europa League as well as a domestic cup that is undoubtedly a successful season. However, United will be at a standstill if they are to miss out on qualification for the Champions League again, with a single EFL Cup win a poor return for a team boasting that much quality under Mourinho’s leadership.

Is Mourinho making progress at Manchester United or are they going backwards?

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Norwich City vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Norwich City vs. Manchester United

Venue: Carrow Road – Saturday, May 7 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Norwich City 16/5 – Draw 13/5 – Manchester United 17/20

Match Preview

Norwich City welcome Manchester United to Carrow Road in a tie which could have a huge impact on the fight for survival and battle to finish in the top four.

Norwich sit 19th in the Premier League and trail 17th place by two points. They have a game in hand coming up in midweek so cannot be relegated this weekend but defeat could make things incredibly hard to avoid the drop.

They come into this tie off the back of their 1-0 away loss to Arsenal, a game they would have been bitterly disappointed to have not taken at least a point from.

Norwich have a huge week ahead. Just two wins in 15 make relegation look likely for The Canaries but their fate remains in their own hands.

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Manchester United are clinging on to their hopes of making the top four. They come into this tie off the back of their 1-1 draw with Leicester.

United trail 4th spot by four points but they do have a game in hand which they also play in the coming week.

Manchester United fans will be praying for a favourable result on Sunday in the clash between Arsenal and City. If results go their way they could move into the top four with two wins in their next two games.

This is a huge week for Louis Van Gaal’s side and it is time for their key players to step up to the challenge. They must ensure they win all their remaining games to give them the best chance of finishing in the top four.

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Team News

Norwich City have four injury concerns heading into this tie. Timm Klose, Alexander Tettey and Andre Wisdom are all expected to miss out, while Rhys Bennett is a doubt.

Manchester United could be without up to five for this clash. Luke Shaw continues his recovery from his broken leg, while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Will Keane and Adnan Januzaj all look unlikely to feature. Marouane Fellaini is suspended.

Key Points

Norwich City’s last five: W/W/L/L/L

Manchester United’s last five: W/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Norwich City have lost their last three Premier League outings.

Key Player: Wayne Rooney – This has been one of Rooney’s quietest seasons in his career, although he has suffered an injury stricken campaign his performances have been below his high standards. Now is the time for him to show his ability as a leader and give United a fighting chance of making the top four.

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Score Prediction

Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United – A win for Manchester United here wouldn’t be a huge surprise considering Norwich’s form of late. Both sides will be nervy and we can expect a cagey game as the stakes are so high. United know they have to win to keep the pressure on in their chase for Champions League football. They have the squad power to win this one.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Leicester City

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, May 1st – 14:05 GMT (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – Leicester 29/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in what could be the day Claudio Ranieri’s side make history and win the Premier League.

United’s last Premier League game was their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. There is still a chance for them to finish in the top four, they sit five points behind but they do have a game in hand. The Red Devils are reliant on other results going their way.

Louis Van Gaal’s side will be full of confidence having dramatically reached the FA Cup Final last weekend, giving them a great chance of silverware this season.

Manchester United have won their last six home matches against Leicester so the away side will have to break that trend if they are to be crowned champions this weekend.

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Leicester City extended their unbeaten run to seven games last weekend with their 4-0 demolition over Swansea.

Ranieri’s side are within touching distance of the Premier League title, but only all three points will secure the silverware this weekend.

Leicester have won six of their last seven league games and kept six clean sheets along the way. We can expect them to be as difficult as ever to break down here.

A win here would cap off what has been an amazing season for Leicester, they have been in good form away, winning three on the bounce.

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Team News

Manchester United could be without up to five through injury as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw and Will Keane are all ruled out, while Phil Jones is a doubt.

Leicester City are still expected to be without Matthew James through injury, while Jamie Vardy is serving the additional game of his suspension.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five Premier League games: W/W/L/W/W

Leicester City’s last five Premier League games: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have won their last six home matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Kasper Schmeichel – The Danish ‘keeper could follow in his fathers footsteps and win the Premier League title at Old Trafford. We can expect both ‘keepers to be busy but Schmeichel’s performances have been an integral part of Leicester’s chase for the title. He has kept seven clean sheets in his last ten league games.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 0-0 Leicester City – The champagne will have to stay on ice for at least another week for Leicester City. This will be a very tight tie with neither side looking weak at the back. Manchester United will have to do something not many sides have successfully achieved over the course of the season and break Leicester down. With both goalkeepers in fantastic form they will be the stars of the show here.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United

Venue: White Hart Lane – Sunday, April 10 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Tottenham Hotspur 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 3/1

Match Preview

Tottenham welcome Manchester United to White Hart Lane on Sunday in a game which could define either side’s season.

Spurs are still in the title race, but are hanging on by a thread, as they trail leaders Leicester City by seven points with six games to go. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have to ensure they win all of their remaining games and hope some of their fellow Premier League sides can do them some favours in a final bid to win the title.

Last weekend was difficult for Tottenham, as their 1-1 draw with Liverpool saw them fall another two points behind the leaders, but this has still been a fantastic season for Pochettino’s side, who look likely to finish runners-up.

Spurs have lost just once in their last 11 league outings and will be looking to continue that run here. This will be a tough test for them though as they take on an in-form United side.

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Manchester United are still in the race for a Champions League spot. They are currently 5th, just one point outside the top four and are fighting tooth and nail to qualify for the Champions League.

Much like Spurs they have to ensure they win every game until the end of the season to give themselves the best chance of achieving a top four finish, so this is a game neither side can afford to lose.

After this match they have three straight home fixtures, so Louis Van Gaal will attempt to make sure they do everything possible to come away from White Hart Lane with three points this weekend to give them the foundation to win all six of their remaining fixtures.

United have already beaten Spurs this season, back on the opening day, and are only one of four sides to do so in the league this campaign so they have to fancy their chances.

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Team News

Tottenham Hotspur have four injury concerns heading into this tie. Clinton N’Jie and Nabil Bentaleb are both expected to miss out, while Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela are both doubtful.

Manchester United are expecting to be without Luke Shaw, Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Will Keane, while Daley Blind is a doubt.

Key Points

Tottenham Hotspur’s last five: L/D/W/W/D

Manchester United’s last five: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Manchester United are unbeaten in 31 of their last 33 games against Spurs in all competitions.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham forward continues to provide for his side and has now netted 22 goals in 32 league games. The Spurs faithful will be hoping their key man can do it once again this weekend.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Manchester United – In a tie which could have such huge implications on both these sides’ seasons, there is going to be immense pressure on the players. Neither side can afford anything but a win, so a draw is looking a likely outcome as they could cancel each other out. This result could all but end the title race and could potentially be devastating for United’s hopes of achieving a top four finish.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Manchester United

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, March 20 – 16:00 GMT (12:00 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester City 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 7/2

Match Preview

The biggest Premier League game of the weekend sees Manchester City take on Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in a tie which could have huge bearings on the race for Champions League football.

Manchester City’s title challenge has gone off the boil and they now look like a side who could even struggle to make the top four, let alone compete at the summit.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have fallen off the pace in recent weeks and are now sitting in fourth place, only two points ahead of West Ham United in 5th. This is a massive game for the Citizens, as a loss to their bitter rivals would leave the sides separated by just one point.

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City come into the game off the back of their 0-0 draw in the Champions League midweek, which was enough to see them advance to the quarter finals of the competition for the first time in their history.

Their last tie outing in the league was the disappointing draw against strugglers Norwich City, a game Pellegrini would have been expecting his side to take all three points in, but an average performance cost them.

Manchester United are still chasing the top four. They currently sit sixth in the table and inconsistent form has been a contributing factor as to why they are in the position of chasing a top four finish, rather than competing for the title.

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Louis Van Gaal’s side were knocked out of the Europa League midweek by Liverpool and will look to bounce back here. A top four finish is not beyond them and given the nature of this unpredictable Premier League season no club can be written off.

The worry for United will be that they have only won one of their last eight away games in the top flight. City have the second-best home record in the division and leaving with three points would be a huge achievement for Van Gaal as his players.

The reverse fixture ended 0-0 at Old Trafford and so hopefully there are more goals on display this time around.

Team News

Manchester City still have some key faces missing from their squad. Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri are all expected to miss out while Nicolas Otamendi is a doubt.

Manchester United’s squad is also riddled with injuries. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Wayen Rooney and Will Keane are all out, while Ander Herrera is a doubt.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: L/L/L/W/D

Manchester United’s last five: D/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: Manchester City have won six of the last ten meeting between these two sides in all competitions.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – City’s talisman will need to drive them to win all of their remaining league games if they are to have any chance of winning the title now. He has 16 goals this season and will hope to add to that tally against City’s great rivals.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United – City to have too much for United and overpower them in the Manchester Derby this weekend. Both of these sides are out of form so it will be a close tie which will perhaps lack the quality we have become so accustom to for a game of this magnitude.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs West Ham

Competition: FA Cup Quarterfinal – Manchester United vs. West Ham

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, March 13 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester United 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – West Ham 3/1

Match Preview

Manchester United host West Ham in a crucial FA Cup quarterfinal game on Sunday afternoon, with both sides eyeing a trip to Wembley if they can win here.

The Red Devils fell 2-0 to Liverpool in the Europa League on Thursday night, following on from Sunday’s 1-0 loss at West Brom in what has been another tough week for Louis Van Gaal.

United looked to be in good shape before the West Brom defeat, having won four on the bounce, but they are back under pressure and fans will be desperate to see them beat West Ham on Sunday.

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The Red Devils lost at home to Arsenal in the quarterfinals of last year’s FA Cup and will be desperate not to repeat that as they are just one game away from a Wembley appearance.

Manchester United’s FA Cup run: Third Round (H) – Sheffield United (1-0) – Fourth Round (A) – Derby County (3-1) – Fifth Round (A) – Shrewsbury Town (3-0) 

West Ham will arrive at Old Trafford in high confidence and will be out to upset the hosts in what should be an entertaining game.

The Hammers have won four in a row in all competitions and look to be in great shape. They have picked up impressive results against big clubs all year and will be out for another scalp in this one.

Slaven Bilic will be desperate for a trip to Wembley with his West Ham players. His side are unbeaten in six in all competitions and are a tough side to break down.

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These two sides played out a 0-0 draw in their Premier League meeting at Old Trafford in December and another close-fought battle is expected on Sunday.

West Ham’s FA Cup run: Third Round (H) – Wolves (1-0) – Fourth Round (A) – Liverpool (0-0) – Fourth Round Replay (H) – Liverpool (2-1 AET) – Fifth Round (A) – Blackburn Rovers (5-1) 

Team News

Manchester United have a number of injury worries ahead of this one. Juan Mata is suspended, while Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Ashley Young are all injured. Antonio Valencia and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are doubts but Jesse Lingard should return to the side after missing Thursday’s loss at Liverpool through suspension.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will be without Sam Byram as the right-back is ineligible. James Tomkins and James Collins both remain out but they are the only injury worries for the Hammers. Victor Moses, Enner Valencia, Joey O’Brien and Winston Reid are all back from injuries and will be in contention.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/L/L

West Ham United’s last five in all competitions: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Manchester United are unbeaten in ten games against West Ham (W6 D4).

Key Player: Dimitri Payet – The West Ham playmaker has been sensational this season. He has notched four goals and four assists in his last five games and looks to be in the best form of his campaign. If United fail to contain him, the Hammers will likely emerge victorious.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham – This should be a really tight battle between two clubs desperate for a trip to Wembley. United’s form has dipped again off the back of a poor week and West Ham are not the sort of side they will be able to outplay. The Hammers look sharp and will expect to earn a replay at the very least.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, February 28th – 14:05 BST (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 11/5 – Draw 11/5 – Arsenal 13/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome title chasing Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday in a game which could have a great impact on both sides’ seasons.

United have been inconsistent this season and their league position is proof of that. They sit 5th in the Premier League, six points off of the top four and look unlikely to catch the pack despite the season still having some time to run.

They come into the game off the back of their 5-1 win in Europe in midweek. It was a result which will have restored some confidence to the side – especially seeing as their last domestic outing was the 2-1 loss away at Sunderland.

This is a huge game for Louis Van Gaal’s United side, who can close the gap on the top four with a win, but they will have to work incredibly hard to do so.

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Arsenal come into this game off the back of their midweek loss at home to FC Barcelona in the Champions League. Arsene Wenger was clearly demoralised by the performance and he will be looking for his side to bounce back here in what is another huge match.

The Gunners last outing in the Premier League was their crucial 2-1 win over Leicester City. They showed great resilience by taking all three points late on in that one and need to show that fighting spirit the rest of the way now.

Wenger’s side are the bookmakers’ favourites to win the league this season, but they have to consistently win games until the end of the campaign if they are to do so.

A loss here would be a crippling result and a huge step backward after their last Premier League game, so there is added pressure for Arsenal. Given Manchester United’s injuries, the Gunners will be expected to win this one.

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Arsenal thumped United 3-0 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates back in October but have not won a league game at Old Trafford since 2006.

Team News

Manchester United have a squad riddled with injuries. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini, Will Keane and Antonio Valencia are all expected to miss out here. Things don’t get any easier for Van Gaal as David De Gea, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Cameron Borthwick Jackson are all doubts. Marcus Rashford could well lead the line here if Martial misses out – he netted two in midweek for United and took his chances with great confidence.
Arsenal have a few key players expecting to miss this one. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain are all out while Gabriel Paulista is a doubt. Danny Welbeck will be pushing for a start against his former club after looking dangerous since returning from injury.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

Arsenal’s last five: D/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Inconsistent – United have only won ten of their last 27 games in all competitions and will desperately be looking to make it back-to-back wins after restoring some confidence in their 5-1 victory over Midtjylland on Thursday.

Key Player: Mesut Özil – The German playmaker has an astonishing 17 assists already this season in the Premier League and will look to prove clinical against what could be an inexperienced United side on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-2 Arsenal – This is a fixture which rarely fails to disappoint and is certainly one to watch this weekend. United’s injury woes will hamper their chances of winning, while Wenger will be expecting his side to step up their efforts in the hunt for their first Premier League title since the 2003/04 season. An Arsenal win looks the more likely, though there could be goals in this.

Is this the biggest hint yet that Mourinho will be the next United manager?

It’s no shock to hear any developments that Jose Mourinho is nearing a return to management and the former Chelsea boss is the front-runner for the Manchester United job.

Portuguese media outlet Correio da Manhã report Mourinho is finalising details of his chosen new home in Manchester. 

Louis Van Gaal is expected to be ousted from the club at the end of the season after spending huge sums on a number of players who have failed to make much of an impact for the Red Devils.

No move is expected to happen before the end of the season but there will be added pressure for Van Gaal to make the top four to ensure Mourinho can attract the players he will want if he succeeds the Dutchman.

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Mourinho has openly stated he is waiting for the ‘right move’ ahead of his potential next job, reported by Sky Sports News.

“I always feel that it’s better to wait, not to rush, better to be calm, to wait for the right moment, the right move,” the three-time Premier League winner said.

“I feel that starting the next season with a new club and project is probably the best thing for me.”

Mourinho has played down the situation and has taken a light-hearted approach to reports linking him with managerial roles across the globe and his current management status.

“I read so many different things. One day it says I go to China, another day it says I go to Italy, and people say I’m back to Inter Milan. I’m here – probably, you are saying I will go to the Singapore national team.

“It’s quite a funny career. I am the English champion, and I still have no job.”

Will Mourinho be the next United manager? Will his managerial qualities shine through once again in his next role?

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Shrewsbury vs Manchester United

Competition: FA Cup: Fifth Round – Shrewsbury Town vs. Manchester United

Venue: Greenhous Meadow Stadium – Monday, February 22 – 19:45 GMT (14:45)

Match Odds: Shrewsbury 7/1 – Draw 18/5 – Man Utd 2/5

Match Preview

Shrewsbury host Manchester United in a proper FA Cup tie on Monday night, with both sides looking to book their place in the quarterfinals of the competitions with a win here.

Shrewsbury are struggling near the bottom of League One, sitting just three points above the relegation zone, but will undoubtedly be fired up for the visit of Manchester United on Monday night.

The Blues have enjoyed their FA Cup run so far, making it from the first round to the fourth with victories over Gainsborough Trinity, Grimsby Town, Cardiff City and most recently Sheffield Wednesday. But Manchester United are the biggest side they have faced this season and a big performance will be needed.

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The prospect of facing United has been made slightly better by the fact that the Red Devils have lost back-to-back games to Sunderland and FC Midtjylland, piling pressure back onto Louis Van Gaal and his players.

United travelled to Denmark to play Midtjylland on Thursday night and will need to hope they are not fatigued from that trip. Defeat to Shrewsbury here would probably go down as the worst result of their season and could see Van Gaal axed, with reports still suggesting Jose Mourinho is being lined up to come in before the end of the season.

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This will be the first-ever meeting between Shrewsbury and Manchester United. There are 56 places between the two clubs and so this will be a proper FA Cup clash.

Key Points

Shrewsbury’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/D/W

Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/D/L/L

Key Stat: Shrewsbury have the second-worst home record in League One, having picked up just 11 points from 15 league games at Greenhous Meadow.

Key Player: Larnell Cole – The Shrewsbury striker will look to be a thorn in the side of his former employers here, should he start, and has a real point to prove.

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Score Prediction

Shrewsbury 1-1 Manchester United – This should be a foregone conclusion but United have been awful of late and are really struggling to pick up wins. Shrewsbury will be fired up for this clash and have had an extra week’s rest. A home win looks unlikely but the League One side could do enough to earn a replay at Old Trafford.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Sunderland vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Manchester United 

Venue: Stadium of Light – Saturday, February 13 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Sunderland 4/1 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 3/4

Match Preview

Sunderland host Manchester United in the Saturday afternoon Premier League kickoff this weekend in a hugely important game for both sides, for opposite reasons.

Sunderland are still four points off safety and come into the game in 19th place. However, Sam Allardyce is still yet to be relegated as a manager and so they have that good omen onside with their survival hopes.

If they are to stay up they will need two major factors to go their way. They need to stop conceding so many goals, as they have the worst defence in the league. And Jermaine Defoe needs to score the goals to keep them up as he is their most lethal attacker.

Sunderland’s Premier League record: P25 – W5 – D5 – L15

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Defoe’s late goal at Anfield last week earned Sunderland a point but they need more than that in upcoming games with just 13 fixtures to play.

Manchester United are at a crisis themselves. Simply put, Louis Van Gaal has to make the top four if he has any hope of keeping his job past the summer.

They are struggling to gain enough form to challenge the current top four and they are still six points off their goal, and more worryingly 12 points off the top.

Manchester United’s Premier League record: P25 – W11 – D8 – L6

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As it stands, United are desperate for huge results and missing out on the win against Chelsea in the dying minutes last weekend could well prove crucial come the end of the season.

The reverse fixture ended 3-0 to United at Old Trafford back in September but that seems a long time ago now and this game should be a lot tighter.

Team News

Sunderland may be without Jermaine Defoe, Fabio Borini and Billy Jones who all have minor niggles. Younes Kaboul, Duncan Watmore, Jermaine Lens, Adam Matthews and Sebastien Larsson are all out. Adam Johnson has been sacked by the club.

Manchester United will be without Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw through injury.

Key Points

Sunderland’s last five: W/L/D/L/D

Manchester United’s last five: D/W/L/W/D

Key Stat: Sunderland haven’t won at home in the Premier League to Manchester United since March 1997.

Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The England captain is under immense pressure due to the form of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy and his Euro 2016 starting berth is not guaranteed. He is still a huge factor in the United attack and has found his goalscoring form again lately. Expect him to be a threat from the outset.

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Score Prediction

Sunderland 0-2 Manchester United – Manchester United have regained their attacking spark recently and were minutes away from three vital points at Stamford Bridge a week ago. Sunderland need points just as much but will find it difficult to open a United defence which is fortified by the magnificent David De Gea.