the importance of winning pressure games.”
Sub-plots: As mentioned, the Stadium of Light was the setting for one of United’s biggest disappointments in recent history and memories are understandably raw. Supporters won’t have forgotten the celebrations of Sunderland's fans at the end, but even so there are greater reasons for chasing victory on Saturday than revenge.
Quote/unquote: “Personally, I didn't see them cheering as I was on my way from the seat in the stands to the locker room. I was injured at the time but had a feeling we were probably going to win. Unfortunately we didn't. When you have an experience like that and if you feel something is against you, like the fans in Sunderland, hopefully it's something we can remember to use in a positive way at the weekend. We'll go up there and be determined to win the game.” - Anders Lindegaard.
Whistle blower: Kevin Friend will be the man in the middle on Saturday. The Leicestershire-based referee has taken charge of 28 games this season, dishing out 96 yellow cards and three reds in the process. He was last seen by United fans during a 1-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Rivals watch: Title rivals Manchester City host Newcastle at the Etihad at 15:00 GMT on Saturday whilst Arsenal face Reading and Chelsea travel to Southampton. Liverpool will tackle Aston Villa on Sunday.