IT is a decade since Anthony Reveillere last played at Old Trafford.
When the French full-back went there as part of the Lyon side which tackled Manchester United in the group stages of the 2004-05 Champions League, the hosts were at their pomp.
If we can show our quality on the ball, we can come away with somethingAnthony Reveillere
Reveillere had to counter a front-line of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistlerooy and Wayne Rooney, and United edged proceedings with a 2-1 victory.
But as Reveillere prepares to return there with Sunderland this weekend, there is not quite the same aura surrounding Man United, even if they have taken 31 out of a possible 39 points at home this season.
Question marks remain over Louis van Gaal’s overhaul, albeit they remain in a top four spot despite last weekend’s defeat at Swansea City.
And for a Sunderland side who recorded their first Premier League win at Old Trafford since 1968 last season – plus progressed on penalties in the League Cup semi-final – there is a belief that they can nick a point or three again to boost their survival prospects.
Reveillere told the Gazette: “I’ve played against Manchester United in the Champions League – home and away.
“We know that it’s a challenge that is never easy there.
“But at the same time, they’ve had a few difficulties this year and lost at Swansea last weekend.
“It’s still Manchester United, and they’ve brought in a lot of players this season.
“But we’ll be ready for it and we’ve done well away from home this season.
“If we can show our quality on the ball, we can come away with something.”
Sunderland, however, will have to do without the services of Emanuele Giaccherini for Saturday’s game – and probably the rest of the season.
Gus Poyet confirmed yesterday that the Italian is likely to be out for the remainder of the campaign.
The Gazette reported earlier this week how Sunderland were fearing the worst over Giaccherini after he re-aggravated an ankle injury in the FA Cup win at Fulham earlier this month.
Giaccherini has now seen a specialist and it has been confirmed that the Italian international is likely to miss the majority - if not all - of Sunderland’s remaining 12 games.
“He is practically going to be out until the end of the season which is unfortunate for us, but we wish him well,” head coach Poyet told the club website.
“I want to say a full recovery – not a quick one – so that we can count on him next year.”
Giaccherini has been limited to just four starts in his second season at the Stadium of Light after a miserable run of luck with injuries.
The 29-year-old missed the start of the campaign with a groin problem and spent two months on the sidelines in the Autumn with the ankle injury which flared up again after a late tackle at Craven Cottage.