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How should Manchester United line up against Sunderland?

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Which tactics, formation and players should Manchester Untied use in their Premier League game against Sunderland?

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manchester United play Sunderland this weekend with a seven-strong injury list. As well as Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo, they will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger (end of February), Ashley Young, Guillermo Varela and Adnan Januzaj for at least the next game.

United have enjoyed a relative improvement in performance - if not to an acceptable level for the money spent and the ambitions of the club. As a result, Louis van Gaal is likely to choose an unchanged side from the one which couldn't keep the ball or defend for half an hour against Chelsea. Nevertheless, they did attack far more effectively than they had for most of the season.

The back four of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (promising), Daley Blind (midfielder), Chris Smalling (part-time birdbrain) and Matteo Darmian (Italian), should line up in front of David de Gea. Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini (boo! hiss!) will be the base of a midfield behind Juan Mata (valedictory season), Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. Wayne Rooney should again captain and start as the lone striker.

tBB prediction:

Substitutes: Romero, McNair, Jones, Schneiderlin, Pereira, Herrera, Depay.