EMANUELE Giaccherini insists Manchester United will be drained by their midweek Champions League exertions when they face Sunderland tomorrow.
The reigning Premier League champions head to the Stadium of Light this weekend less than 72 hours after returning from the 3,000 mile round trip to the Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Giaccherini is well aware of how such a trip takes its toll after making four appearances in Europe’s elite competition during his two years at Juventus.
And the Italian international hopes it can provide an advantage for basement boys Sunderland tomorrow tea-time, as the Black Cats continue their search for a first win of the season.
Giaccherini said: “Manchester United are a very, very good team.
“They are the champions and it would be a very difficult game for us whenever we played them.
“But they drew 1-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and Ukraine is a long way to travel and that can affect you in the next game.
“I saw this at Juventus, where we played in the Champions League in the week and then three days later we were playing in the league.
“It is not easy.”
Neither side head in tomorrow’s game in form.
United have endured their worst start to a season since 1989 after losing three of their six Premier League outings.
And managerless Sunderland find themselves propping up the table after collecting just one point out of a possible 18.
But Giaccherini was encouraged by the display against Liverpool last weekend and the £6.8million attacking midfielder is well aware of how precious a win would be for Sunderland against David Moyes’ side.
“We proved against Liverpool that we can put in a good performance, and we must put in another against United,” added Giaccherini, who has netted in each of the last two games.
“If we could win against Manchester United, or even draw, it would give everyone a lot of confidence – the players, fans, everyone.
“Manchester United have not started as well as they wanted.
“I watched Manchester United’s game against West Bromwich Albion last weekend on the TV.
“But it is not often that a big team loses two games in a row!”