Manchester United Captain Nemanja Vidic Set for Return vs. Sunderland

Adrian Agius@@agius2nvAnalyst IDecember 15, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United in action during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League group stage match against CFR 1907 Cluj at Carrington Training Ground on December 4, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United fans everywhere, sit up and take note because it would seem that the long-awaited return of Nemanja Vidic to the starting 11 is near. In what will prove a massive boost to United's title hopes, Sir Alex Ferguson has named the Serbian central defender in his squad to face the Black Cats.

According to the Manchester United website, Ferguson has replaced the injured Jonny Evans with Vidic for this weekend's clash at Old Trafford. Vidic hasn't appeared for United since September, and although a place in the starting lineup isn't yet guaranteed, his presence on the bench remains promising.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Sir Alex Ferguson commented on the return of Vidic from injury, saying:

Nemanja is back in the squad but Jonny Evans is out obviously after his injury last week.

Having Vida back in the squad is a big, big one for us: his experience, his ability to head the ball, his offensive qualities are well renowned now and he’s our captain. Whether I start him or not, that’s another issue. But it’s great to have him back.

His injury woes are arguably some of the unluckiest in the Premier League. After being ruled out for the remainder of the season on December 7 last year, Vidic returned to first-team action on the opening matchday of the 2012-'13 season—where United lost to Everton

Vidic went on to appear four times for United in the league before being ruled out for eight weeks at the end of September. 

With United clear at the summit of the English Premier League, Vidic's return will see them shaping up as favourites to win the league heading into the Christmas break.

Playing alongside Rio Ferdinand along the back of the Manchester United defence, the centre-back partnership the Red Devils will see rekindled is no doubt the most experienced in the league. 

Whether it fires as it previously did however, is another question all together.

United welcomes Sunderland to Old Trafford this week, looking to record their fifth consecutive league win.