PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Sunderland v Manchester United – as it happens from the Stadium of Light
04:00 GMT, 30 March 2013
12:13 GMT, 30 March 2013
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Sunderland host Manchester United at the Stadium of Light to kick-off the weekend's action. Sir Alex Ferguson has set the target for his side, who are likely to regain the Premier League title, to reach the record mark of 95 points ahead of the trip to the North East.
By contrast Martin O'Neill's team have been sucked into the battle against relegation and will be desperate to pick up a positive result following a run of just three points from their last 21 available.
SUNDERLAND v MAN UNITED
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Bramble, O'Shea, Rose, Johnson, Gardner, N'Diaye, McClean, Sessegnon, Graham
Subs: Westwood, Larsson, Wickham, Kilgallon, Colback, Mangane, Mandron
Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Vidic, Smalling, Buttner, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Evra, Evans, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Powell.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
12.11: In the little green box on the right are the full line-ups for this afternoon's match. Rooney, Ferdinand and Giggs aren't even on the bench as Nani, Danny Welbeck and Nick Powell are Ferguson's attacking options, should he need them.
12.07: That said, by Robin van Persie's remarkably high standards, he's going through something of a barren spell. He hasn't scored for United since United's 2-0 win over Everton on February 10. I wouldn't rule him out of getting back to scoring ways domestically today, though. He scored three times in Holland's two international matches during the break…
11.56: Sir Alex obviously has one eye on Monday's FA Cup replay against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He's starting top goalscorer Robin van Persie but is without Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney in attack. Instead Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa will have to create the openings for the Dutchman from the off.
Stephane Sessegnon was an injury doubt for Sunderland, but he makes the starting XI for Martin O'Neill. There's no time like the present if misfiring new boy Danny Graham is to get off the mark. He hasn't found the back of the net since leaving Swansea for the Stadium of Light in January.
11.55: And Manchester United's team: De Gea, Rafael, Buttner, Smalling, Vidic, Carrick, Valencia, Anderson, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie
11.54: Here is Sunderland's starting XI: Mignolet, Bardsley, Rose, O'Shea, Bramble, N'Diaye, Gardner, McClean, Johnson, Sessegnon, Graham
Pain: Manchester United saw the title snatched from their grasp at the Stadium of Light last season
11.51: Early team news. United will be without Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs this afternoon. Full teams to follow.
11.45: Good morning one and all. We're an hour away from kick-off in this one and Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping to be heading back to Manchester with his side 18 points clear of rivals City at the top.
Last time United were here in the Premier League it was the final day of the season. Phil Jones, Sir Alex and Co were on the pitch after the 1-0 victory over the Black Cats, applauding the travelling fans and believing they had won the club's 20th league crown. We all know what happened back at the Etihad though, when Sergio Aguero wriggled clear in the QPR box to hit the title-winning goal for City.
United's players will remember that. And now that they are on course to win the league, their players will be keen to avenge the Sunderland fans who performed City's trademark Poznan celebration after City clinched the title last May.
Comfortable winners: United cruised to a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford earlier in the season