The Premier League is finally back and the weekend’s action kicks off on Saturday lunchtime at the Stadium of Light, where struggling Sunderland host top-of-the-table Manchester United.
Martin O’Neill’s men are bottom of the division’s form table having gone seven games without a win, amassing a total of just three points since their victory at Wigan Athletic over two months ago.
They have subsequently slipped to 15th place and now hover four points above the relegation zone with eight games left to play.
Top scorer Steven Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole were both ruled out for the season earlier in the week with ankle ligament and knee damage respectively, while Carlos Cuellar will also miss out through injury, though Stephane Sessegnon could return following a groin problem.
United, for their part, will open up an 18-point lead at the top of the division if they record a seventh straight league victory.
Sir Alex Ferguson will check on the fitness of Paul Scholes and Nani ahead of the game, with the Scot set to name his side with one eye on the FA Cup quarter-final replay with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which kicks off less than 48 hours after the game.
The visitors are, unsurprisingly, odds-on for the win at 57/100, with the Black Cats a 19/4 shot to cause an upset and the draw at 29/10.
But before you have a bet, here are five statistics you might not have seen which could influence your thinking.
3: In three of the last seven meetings between the sides, the last goal of the game has been from a player turning the ball into his own net. An own goal to finish the scoring this time around is priced at 25/1.
5: Wayne Rooney has scored five goals in his last six games for club and country and the striker is 4/1 to get the first of the game and 13/10 to notch at any time.
6: United have opened the scoring in their last six Premier League away games and are 1/2 to continue the trend on Wearside.
7: Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have won seven of their last ten league games to nil and took tempting at 33/20 to add to that statistic.
537: The amount of minutes the league leaders have gone without conceding. You can back United to keep another clean sheet at a very inviting 5/4.