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Bonus Ball?

Some would have it that Saturday's script is already written: Manchester United don't lose three league games on the trot; they never lose against Sunderland (22 games unbeaten and counting); and Wayne Rooney will be their returning hero.

Last Updated: 03/10/13 at 11:46 Post Comment

Ball: can he lead Black Cats to another result against the champions?

Ball: can he lead Black Cats to another result against the champions?

What about their opposition?

Sunderland are the only team in the Premier League without a win; their suffering fans have seen them win just twice at home in 2013; they've conceded three goals in each of their last four games; and still they're without a permanent manager.

But who would have thought West Brom would emerge victorious from Old Trafford last weekend?

Who would have thought that when United equalised they wouldn't storm towards triumph as they always used to do under Sir Alex Ferguson?

Who would have thought that seven years ago a Sunderland team vastly inferior to this one and already relegated - with a little known caretaker Kevin Ball in charge - would go to Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side chasing the title and keep a clean sheet?

Certainly not this spectator viewing from the stands.

Seven years on, Sunderland are propping up the Premier League once again but one of the most bizarre stats of the season so far tells us they've had as many attempts on goal as the leaders Arsenal.

So what if one of those speculative Adam Johnson efforts nestled in the top corner? Or a Seb Larsson free kick crashed in off the bar? Or if Jozy Altidore started to prove he really can hack it in the Premier League?

And what if Kieran Westwood had the game of his life? John O'Shea, inspired against his former club, snuffed out the threat of Rooney and Robin Van Persie?

And what if United had another off day?

Stranger things have happened... haven't they?

David Jones hosts coverage of the Saturday Night Football clash between Sunderland and Manchester United from 5pm, Saturday, Sky Sports 1

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Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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