The biggest news preceding the clash between Sunderland and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light is the scandal surrounding Adam Johnson. The latest development in this regard is that the midfielder has reportedly had his contract terminated.
Earlier this week, Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson pleaded guilty to charges of sexual activity with a minor. The club had insisted that he would be participating in the match against the Red Devils, but after he admitted his guilt, the Black Cats have terminated his contract.
In the last match he played for the club, he scored a goal in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield. Interestingly, he was playing the match while out on bail. Apart from Johnson, Sunderland will also be missing defender Younes Kaboul, midfielders Sebastian Larsson, Jeremain Lens and Duncan Watmore.
Januzaj and Varela in Manchester United’s list of walking wounded
Manchester United have managed to deal with their injury woes well, and with the return of most first team members to full fitness, have no significant injury worries ahead of the match. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has settled in comfortably in place of first choice Luke Shaw at left back. Despite his miscommunication with keeper David de Gea against Chelsea which led to Costa’s goal, the youngster played well throughout the match.
The match will probably be too early for Ashley Young and a late confirmation of this by Louis van Gaal is expected. Meanwhile the Manchester United’s list of walking wounded also include Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, as well as their young duo of Adnan Januzaj and Guillermo Varela, who sustained minor injuries in the U21 team’s 7-0 victory over Norwich City.
However, with Manchester United having hit upon a combination that has been delivering results, Van Gaal is widely expected to play a similar starting XI to the one he played at Stamford Bridge.