David de Gea
David De Gea has rubbished reports that he and Louis van Gaal have not spoken for monthsGetty Images

Manchester United host Sunderland at Old Trafford as the Red Devils look to go back into third position, with Arsenal set to play Everton on Sunday.

Where to Watch

Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. Highlights of the game will be available on BBC Match of the Day on BBC One from 10.30pm GMT.

Overview

The Red Devils have come under a lot of criticism this season, not least for Louis van Gaal's ever changing tactics every game. Their 2-1 loss to Swansea City meant that they relinquished their two-point lead for third to Arsenal, who defeated Leicester City to leapfrog the Red Devils into a top four spot.

Robin van Persie is expected to be out of action against the Black Cats after the Dutchman walked out of their game against Swansea on crutches and is believed to miss up to three weeks with an ankle injury.

The setback means that he is likely to miss their FA Cup tie against Arsenal next weekend, the Red Devils' only chance of securing a trophy this season and saving Van Gaal the blushes for yet another failed season.

James Wilson has also picked up a knock which means that Wayne Rooney should return to his favourable position as striker with Marouane Fellaini expected to start in midfield.

Sunderland are only three points above the dropzone after their draw against West Bromwich Albion in their last game. The Black Cats are goalless in their last three matches and need to get a move on if they are to beat the drop. Sunderland have played out seven draws this season, more than any other team in the top division.

However, Gus Poyet will be boosted by their performance in the reverse fixture, where they managed to hold the Red Devils to a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

What Managers Say

Louis van Gaal: "It is because of the rat race between five clubs that we have to win, we have to be there. You have to win your matches because the other clubs are winning their matches. He [Van persie] has an ankle problem. But I don't think it's very heavy but an ankle problem takes a long time. It's not one week or two weeks but we have to wait and see.''

Gus Poyet: "You cannot make (Jermain) Defoe, (Ricky) Alvarez or (Adam) Johnson become robots and do what you want all the time. They have to have the freedom to go forward and express themselves. I think the mix has to be right - it is not perfect at the moment but we are still working on it. It is true that there is something different when you don't win for years and years in a place and you go there and it looks like it is going to be more difficult than ever, and we did change that. I think that is going to bring something different to the players - at least those who have been here a while. "

Betting Odds (By 888Sport)

  • Manchester United Win: 6/17
  • Draw: 4/1
  • Sunderland Win: 9/1

Team News

Manchester United

Possible XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Shaw; Blind, Di Maria, Herrera; Fellaini; Rooney, Falcao

Sunderland

Possible XI: Pantilimon; Vergini, O'Shea, Brown, Van Aanholt; Cattermole; Wickham, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson; Defoe