United is a strong favorite at roughly -300 to get the three points at Old Trafford on Saturday. That means Sunderland is a heavy underdog in the +750 to +900 range, with a draw available at sportsbooks at a price approaching +500. Let's just say the betting lines aren't in the Black Cats' favor here.
So far so good for Ryan Giggs and his interim status as the Manchester United boss.
Giggs was handed the job after the departure of David Moyes, who suffered through a more than tumultuous time in his reign as the caretaker. With long-time servants of the club like Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt by his side, Giggs has taken control and has already looked the part.
In his first match in charge, the Red Devils looked like their old selves in a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich City. Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata both scored twice in the victory.
It was refreshing to see United play with more urgency in the final third and it was clear that Giggs is expecting a higher tempo of play than what we saw out of Moyes tactically. The difference was practically night and day.
Giggs has three more matches to show what he can do, starting with this encounter with a Sunderland team that's been playing as well as they have all year long. It'll be interesting to see what kind of starting XI the new boss will send out this weekend – will Mata start out on the bench once again?
It's been quite a run of form for the Black Cats, who were all but dead and buried in the last spot in the Premier League just over two weeks ago.
There hasn't been any quit in this team though and they've managed to pull off three tremendous results in a row. They went to Manchester City and earned a 2-2 draw and then beat Chelsea 2-1 three days later.
Then, this past weekend, Sunderland overwhelmed fellow relegation contender Cardiff City in a 4-0 victory.
Connor Wickham scored a brace, while Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini also got goals in the victory. Wickham now has five goals over his last three appearances and his emergence has been a key factor in the Black Cats' resurgence.
Considering Sunderland made both City and Chelsea sweat away from home (and did beat Everton at Goodison Park earlier in the season), Gus Poyet must like his team's chances of doing something similar at Old Trafford. They're out of the relegation zone for the first time in what seems like forever, but let's see if they can keep it that way.
Premier League Pick
The Black Cats have been giant killers of late, but we don't reckon they'll get another terrific result against a Manchester United side that's full of verve and optimism now.
Old Trafford should be buzzing once again and we think the Red Devils will come full of attacking impetus, just like the did against Norwich City.
With that said, we will recommend United to win for our soccer picks at the reasonable soccer betting odds that are available at the top sportsbooks. Giggs has the respect and confidence of his players, who should come out and get the result for him.
Soccer Pick: Manchester United 3 Sunderland 1