In the mood for a Christmas miracle? David Moyes takes his Sunderland side to Old Trafford, marking his first return since his sacking as Manchester United manager. While he will hope to welcome back some of his walking wounded, Moyes could give one final chance to an outbound winger.
Wahbi Khazri’s first full season on Wearside hasn’t gone to plan, with only nine appearances under his belt so far.
His last start came in October’s 4-1 defeat to Arsenal, and he’s played a total of 19 minutes since.
For whatever reason, Moyes isn’t sold on the Tunisian, with his decisions seemingly justified given his poor performances when he has featured.
Khazri is expected to jet off next month ahead of Tunisia’s African Cup of Nation’s opener against Papy Djilobodji’s Senegal on January 15th.
With Sunderland’s financial restraint’s well-known, Moyes could be tempted to cash in on Sam Allardyce’s January buy.
For now though, Khazri could stake a claim to start at Old Trafford in place of Manchester United loanee Adnan Januzaj.
The Belgian has featured as the forward man in Sunderland’s midfield in recent weeks, and Khazri has the experience in the role to continue in the system.
Fabio Borini’s return to fitness is likely to see the former Liverpool man keep his starting place out wide, with the Italian offering more help defensively than Khazri or Januzaj.
Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe look set to complete the front line, although Moyes could be tempted to revert to a similar line-up to the one that almost shut league-leaders Chelsea out earlier this month.
The big news on the injury front this week was the confirmation that Jan Kirchhoff’s injury will keep him out for 12 weeks, while Steven Pienaar and Jack Rodwell are closing in on returns.
Didier Ndong and Jason Denayer are likely to continue in midfield however, with John O’Shea an option in the deep role.
The only change at the back could come on the right-hand side.
Injuries to Billy Jones and Javier Manquillo saw Donald Love start against Watford.
The summer signing from United looked an awful purchase early in the season, but easily had his best run out in a Sunderland shirt in that 1-0 win.
Both Jones and Manquillo are back in training, although today’s game may come too soon for both.
What would your starting eleven be for today’s game? Let us know in the comments below.