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26th Dec 2016

No Wayne Rooney as Jose Mourinho names strong Manchester United team

Interesting calls.

Patrick McCarry

Manchester United are seeking their fourth league win in a row while Sunderland could move up to 16th with a victory at Old Trafford.

David Moyes returns to Old Trafford for the first time since he was sacked as Manchester United boss in 2014.

The Scot has finally got Sunderland playing some decent football after a tough start to the season had them looking all but doomed.

Moyes spoke with the press, late last week, about the players he wanted to get in while he was United boss. He wanted Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Cesc Fabregas and was approached about Thiago Alcantara.

Instead, he brought in Marouane Fellaini and, the following January, Juan Mata.

Mata is in from the start against the Black Cats, replacing Wayne Rooney, while Daley Blind is in for Matteo Darmian. Fellaini is on the bench, along with Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

United captain Wayne Rooney was not reported as injured over the weekend but is out of the squad and travelled to the game separately.

Moyes, meanwhile, has selected a team he hopes to test United’s resolve. Former United players John O’Shea and Donald Love are only on the bench.

United have struggled to put teams away at Old Trafford this season. They have won only three from eight homes games and collected a mere 13 points so far. United have picked up 17 points from their nine away games and won five times.