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Sunderland v Manchester United: Champions to secure narrow win

| 30.09.2013

After what is now officially Manchester United’s worst start to a league campaign since 1989 under-fire manager David Moyes may welcome a trip to struggling Sunderland.

Few places on the road have provided the Red Devils with more success than the Stadium of Light and while the champions are in a midst of a “crisis” of their own the Black Cats would relish such problems.

United have not lost in 18 games against the Wearsiders, a run that stretches to 21 matches when only League fixtures are tallied.

While this may seem the perfect opportunity for Moyes’ men to secure a much-needed win it could also prove a poisoned chalice for the United boss.

The Old Trafford top brass seem intent on giving the Scot a fair crack at the job, but a loss to Sunderland will have the already-discontent United faithful up in arms and calling for the return of Sir Alex Ferguson.

United have won on eight of their last 10 trips to the Stadium of Light – drawing the other two – and with Sunderland in search of a permanent manager nothing less than another three points – an outcome priced at 4/7 – will be acceptable to fans in the red half of Manchester.

However, while a win for United is the minimum expected and the most likely outcome, history suggests the champions will be made to work for the victory and the hosts can be backed at 9/2 to cause an upset.

Not only have Sunderland held United to a draw on five of the last 23 occasions, the majority of the Red Devils’ wins have come by the narrowest of margins.

Exactly half of those 16 victories have come by just a single goal, while four triumphs by a two-goal margin.

With United struggling to score from open play – something they have not done since the season opener against Swansea – the extra value for an away win by one goal at 13/5 or two goals at 15/4 should appeal.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.