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Robert Alexander 4th Oct 2013 - 19:27

Utd to build momentum against struggling Sunderland?

Sunderland v Manchester United - 17:30 live on Sky Sports 1

Manchester Utd (4/6) and Sunderland (5/1) are both in what could generously be described as a period of transition as they both struggle in the Premier League.

Sunderland sacked Paolo di Canio a couple of weeks ago and while their performances have shown much more desire under interim manager Kevin Ball, they are still winless in the Premier League and face a tough task to beat Man Utd. I don't fancy Sunderland to win but the match may be closer than the betting suggests so the draw (7/2) might be value.

David Moyes' tenure as United manager hasn't gone too well, with three defeats in six Premier League matches and they are already 8 points behind the leaders. At this stage, it's hard to see Man Utd win the league and although they are bound to improve as Moyes beds in, I can't see them reeling in the pacesetters.

If my expectations of a closer match are correct, then the Opta special of 7/1 that Man Utd win 1-0 looks a steal. On three of their last four visits to the Stadium of Light, the Red Devils have won by that scoreline. Sunderland have lost their last two Premier League games 3-1 and a win for Man Utd by that scoreline might be a viable alternative at 14/1.

If the Black Cats are to cause an upset in this match then it's likely that their source of inspiration will be Emanuele Giaccherini and he is 18/1 to open the goalscoring and 5/1 to score anytime, both of which are standout prices.

The visitors have a wealth of attacking talent to choose from and Robin van Persie looks good value at 4/1 to score first, while the Headline Offer that United win with Rooney scoring at 2/1 is also a decent price.

While Man Utd should win this, Sunderland have a chance of nicking something and making life even more difficult for David Moyes and his team.  In terms of value bets the draw at 7/2 looks the best option in the match betting; but approach that with caution.

At longer odds the best bet looks 7/1 on Man Utd to win 1-0.

This match will unlikely be a classic but should be an intriguing encounter between two sides having to prove themselves

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