Three key battles that will decide Man United vs. Sunderland

Manchester United play hosts to Sunderland at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, looking to continue closing in on the Premier League’s top four.

It has been something of an indifferent season for the Red Devils thus far under the leadership of Jose Mourinho. However, three successive league wins have moved sixth-placed United to within four points of Arsenal in the final qualification spot for the Champions League.

Their latest success came against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns last weekend, where Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals in a 2-0 win.

Meanwhile, the Black Cats also made a disappointing start to the campaign but have shown real signs of improvement in recent weeks.

Their 1-0 victory against Watford on Saturday was their fourth in their last seven fixtures, and David Moyes’ men lie just one point from safety ahead of the Scot’s return to his former hunting ground.

Here are three key battles that will decide where the match at Old Trafford will be won and lost….