Manchester United travel to the Stadium Light on Sunday and Louis Van Gaal will be looking for his first three points of the Premier League season.
With news breaking that Angel Di Maria will sign for United next week, confidence around the camp should be boosted as they line up against Gus Poyet’s side.
Van Gaal has some fresh faces back with Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie, Rafael all returning. However, the loss of Ander Herrera would have caused minor disruptions as the Spaniard went for a scan today, while new signing Marcos Rojo failed to gain a work permit.
The return of Van Persie will be important for Van Gaal as he looks to partner the Dutch international with Rooney up front. The two had a terrific record together under Sir Alex Ferguson and the new manager will be hoping they team up again in a battle for the top four.
United struggled at home to Swansea City last weekend and the loss of Herrera could give Shinji Kagawa or Tom Cleverley a chance in midfield.
Both have struggled for game time and given the opportunity tomorrow, either player could lay down a marker for the season ahead. Van Gaal has said he wanted to try Kagawa in a number six or eight role and tomorrow could be his chance.
Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini are still all missing while Danny Welbeck could miss out after the media suggested he could leave. Welbeck, 23, is looking for first-team football and a move to Southampton or Everton could be on the cards after Van Gaal refused to rule out his departure.
Sunderland have no fresh injuries and are boosted by the return of Billy Jones in defence. Poyet’s side drew 2-2 against West Brom last week and his side will be looking for a first home win. They survived a relegation battle last season and with the new addition of Jack Rodwell, will be looking to give United a second successive defeat.