The Tipster: Sunderland to give United a Christmas hangover

24 December 2010 10:03
Looking at the bare facts, Manchester United's Boxing Day clash with Sunderland would appear to be a foregone conclusion.

United have won 13 of the 16 games they have played on the day after Christmas since the inception of the Premier League. They have won 18 of their last 20 games and they have not lost to Sunderland in their last 17 meetings in the league.

It appears to be pretty black and white: Alex Ferguson will get one over his former skipper Steve Bruce and United's place at the top of the table is assured for the time being. So why is there a niggly feeling at the back of the Tipster's mind that the Black Cats could come away with something from Old Trafford on Sunday?

United may be looking down on their rivals heading into the festive period but Sunderland are exactly the kind of team they have come unstuck against this season. Sunderland represent tricky opposition - their lofty league position of sixth is testament to the job Bruce is doing there this season - and they have already proved they are capable of bringing down the big teams.

Their sensational 3-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge five weeks ago has been described by Ferguson as a "perfect performance" and he's right. It's not just any team that can go to the home of the champions and come away with all three points, three goals and a clean sheet.

United struggled last time they met Sunderland - in a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light in October - and while this time they are playing at fortress Old Trafford, another shock result mustn't be ruled out. And with 32Red Bet offering odds of 47-10 for a draw, it's almost rude not to have a punt.

If you're feeling a little bolder and you can envisage another huge upset, Victor Chandler have a Sunderland win at 12-1.

Striker Danny Welbeck misses out on the chance to add to his impressive tally of five goals this season given the terms of his loan deal from United, but another man with Red blood Kieran Richardson is good value to get his name on the scoresheet at 11-1 with Bet365. If not, World Cup star Asamoah Gyan is at 4-1 with Coral to score at any time.

And finally, just for a bit of fun, how about Wayne Rooney to miss another penalty? We know how United tend to be awarded penalties at Old Trafford, but whether they stick them away is another matter entirely.

Rooney was guilty of a terrible miss against Arsenal the other week but the England striker has vowed he will continue to take the responsibility. If you don't share his confidence, Bet365 have United to fluff their lines from 12 yards at 12-1.

Source: DSG