English Premiership

Van Gaal and Advocaat face-off

2015-09-25 11:37
Louis van Gaal (AFP)

Manchester - The contrast in form between Manchester United and Sunderland could hardly be greater as the two clubs prepare to meet at Old Trafford on Saturday.

United have won their last two Premier League games - scoring six goals in the process - and with just one league defeat this season have climbed up to second place in the table, two points behind local rivals Manchester City.

Louis van Gaal's side also goes into the game on the back of a comfortable 3-0 win over Ipswich Town in the League Cup to move smoothly into the last 16.

In the same competition, Sunderland were beaten 4-1 at home to Manchester City on Tuesday night and the North East club - whose only win at Old Trafford since 1968 helped them secure a remarkable escape from relegation at the end of the 2013/14 season - are bottom of the Premier League.

Head coach Dick Advocaat is under increasing pressure with Sunderland yet to win a league game this season, although he is unlikely to receive any sympathy on the pitch from fellow Dutchman van Gaal.

Advocaat is no stranger to van Gaal and the two have met nine times as manager of opposing sides, with five draws, three wins for Advocaat and just one win for the United boss.

United have made massive strides in the space of 12 months following a difficult start to life at Old Trafford for the former Netherlands coach.

The impact of striker Anthony Martial - a £36m signing from Monaco in August who has scored four goals on his first four appearances - has epitomised United's progress, although van Gaal insists no-one should get carried away.

"It is not so difficult because he is a player who is very modest," said van Gaal of the 19-year-old Frenchman.

"He knows that he can score and he can score because of his fellow players.

"With his speed and composure, he can score. We are happy but still we have to keep our feet on the ground."

After starting on the bench against Ipswich, Martial is likely to return to the side to face Sunderland, along with right-back Matteo Darmian and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

Winger Memphis Depay may also return but defenders Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Paddy McNair are missing through injury.

Advocaat will make several changes to the side which was out-classed by City as Sunderland try and climb off the bottom of the table.

Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon will return in place of Vito Mannone, while Younes Kaboul is available after suspension and is likely to replace Sebastian Coates in central defence.

Midfielder Lee Cattermole is pushing for a first start in four games, while defender Billy Jones returns at right-back after being rested in midweek. While left-back Patrick van Aanholt's place is under threat after the Dutchman's unconvincing start to the season.

Advocaat is also considering whether to switch England midfielder Jack Rodwell to centre back in a bid to strengthen a back line that has conceded 20 goals in eight games this season.

Advocaat said: "I have one or two options. I have thought about moving Rodwell into defence, because he is good in the air and has got two good feet. He is what I am looking for in terms of being able to find his team-mates with a pass."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.