Louis Van Gaal
Louis Van Gaal's men failed to grab three crucial points against Swansea City last weekReuters

The race for the Champions League spot has been hotting up with Arsenal, Manchester United, Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in contention for the European spot.

Manchester United currently lie on the fourth spot with 47 points from 26 games, hence when Sunderland travel to Old Trafford tonight, Louis Van Gaal, United's manager needs his team to win and inch closer to European football, which they missed this season.

Sunderland, on the other hand need to defeat United, for they are languishing in the 16th spot of the EPL standings and could be relegated from the league, if they fail to win some important matches in the remainder of the competition.

After struggling to a shock defeat against Swansea City in their last EPL fixture, Manchester United are aware of the importance of the game, as they cannot afford to drop points against teams from the lower half of the table.

Their players are also aware about the importance of the game, especially with CL spot up for grabs.

"We must stand up again, look ahead and make it up to our fans the next weekend in Old Trafford against Sunderland," Juan Mata wrote on his official blog.

"Our main rivals don't slow down and the race for the Champions League spots is closer than ever. We are approaching the most important moment of the season and we must deliver in order to get to our goals."

With the competition moving into the business end, Manchester United need to finish off the season on a high and claim the European spot, which is a major priority for many clubs in EPL.

Manchester United are enjoying a decent spell in the league, as they have won thrice, lost two and drawn once in their last six games, but the same cannot be said for their opponent, Sunderland, who have only won one and lost thrice in their last six.

Having said that, Sunderland defeated United when the two teams met last at Old Trafford with a solitary goal from Sebastian Larsson being the decider and the Black Cats held United to a draw earlier during the current seasons as well.

James Wilson and Robin van Persie are expected to miss their home game with injuries, while Michael Carrick could also be sidelined. The story is not too rosy for Sunderland as well with concerns over Billy Jones, Jack Rodwell and Will Buckley's injuries.

Where to Watch Live

The game is set to begin at 10:00 am ET (8:30pm IST, 3:00 pm GMT ) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 4.

Viewers in India can also catch the entire match via live streaming online on Starsports.com.

Viewers in the US catch the action live in the US on TV on NBC Sports, while the game can also be live streamed online on NBC Sports Extra.

Football fans across Indonesia can watch it live on beIN Sports 3 Premier League HD, and those interested in Malaysia for the big game can watch it on Fox Sports Malaysia.