Date, time and coverage: Saturday 5 September, 17:30 BST. The match will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports. You can also follow it live via our live blog and MUTV’s radio commentary.
Form guide: United hope to return to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League following back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and West Brom, results that have left the champions in 12th place with just seven points from a possible 18. However, the Reds will be confident of beating a Sunderland side that is yet to register a victory this season, having lost five of their opening six games. As a result of such dreadful form, the Black Cats hierarchy have opted to sack manager Paolo Di Canio, who was only hired on 31 March towards the latter stages of last campaign.
Ins and outs: David Moyes almost has a full squad to choose from for this trip to the Stadium of Light. The only doubts are Rio Ferdinand, who is struggling with a slight groin injury, and Wayne Rooney. Sunderland are still without star striker and long-term absentee Steven Fletcher, who is unavailable shoulder injury. Ex-Reds Wes Brown and Phil Bardsley are also set to miss out, as well as Andrea Dossena.
Betting: As you might expect, bwin have priced United as favourites at 1.55 and Sunderland as ranks outsiders at 5.75, while the draw is 4.00. In the first scorer market, why you back former Black Cats loan star Danny Welbeck at odds of 6.50?
Last meeting: United edged closer to the title with a comfortable 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light last March, a triumph that was clinced via a Titus Bramble own goal. A few days later, Black Cats manager Martin O’Neill was relieved of his duties.
The manager: In the absence of Di Canio, Kevin Ball will take charge of Saturday’s match. His first league game ended in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool but the 48-year-old has admitted he would like to be considered for the role on a