How Can Manchester United Turn Around Their Season at Sunderland?

Chris FlemingCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Wayne Rooney (R) and Michael Carrick of Manchester United look dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United’s trip to Sunderland is the perfect chance to turn the season around after a poor run of recent results. With Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, Saturday’s fixture gives David Moyes and his players a chance to make things right.


Picking a Starting XI

Moyes’ team selection will determine how United go about picking up three much-needed points.

If Wayne Rooney is fit, he must start behind Robin van Persie. The two haven’t featured together from the start in either of United’s last four matches.

Rooney has been in fine form this season after a summer of unrest. United need him to put in another virtuoso display.

Moyes’ biggest decision will come in choosing his midfield, which has struggled this season. Michael Carrick is a shoo-in, but it will be interesting to see whether Moyes sticks with Marouane Fellaini after his disappointing performance in the week.

United’s wide men must also step up to the mark. Antonio Valencia has shown glimpses of form, while Danny Welbeck should add some much-needed stability on the left.


The team above is arguably Moyes’ best starting XI. He must go with his best team in order to kick-start United’s season.


Why Sunderland?

Against a Sunderland side bereft of any real attacking threat or indeed a real manager, it’s as good a chance as United will get to turn things around.

Sunderland will be vulnerable to United’s pace out wide, which could prove telling.

However, with Sunderland still looking to pick up their first win of the season, United must remain cautious.

They must approach the game with the right mentality in order to avoid slipping to a third consecutive league defeat.


David Moyes’ Tactics

United’s success on Saturday will be largely dependent on Moyes’ approach.

He must attack. It’s the United way.

Against Sunderland, Moyes has the chance to make a statement and show he is the right man to turn things around.

A good win is just what Moyes and United need ahead of the international break. In his pre-match press conference, Moyes spoke of the significance of Saturday’s game (via the team website):

It's an important game we want to win. We'll pick a team that we think can get a result. They’re really good players. They know themselves the standards they have set over the years and, together, we’ll work to get it right. I’ve got no doubt about that.

After Saturday’s fixture at the Stadium of Light, United face four winnable home games in a row. Starting with Sunderland, they have a chance to turn their season around.

In the context of the season, Saturday’s game is huge.

United need a result and a performance to begin a winning streak. Should they drop points, however, then the Premier League table will make grim reading for Man United fans.

A good win is just what Moyes and United need ahead of the international break.