Marco Rojo's hamstring injury will keep him out of the visit of the second-bottom Black Cats, after he missed the midweek meeting with Ipswich Town, leaving Louis van Gaal with just Daley Blind as a preferred left-footer in his back four.
With Luke Shaw out for the majority of the season and Paddy McNair - right-footed but can play at left-back - van Gaal was forced to use winger Ashley Young on the left side of defence in the 3-0 win over the Tractor Boys in the Capital One Cup.
Rojo's absence indicates that Young is likely to be deployed at left-back again when United host Sunderland as he would rather keep Blind on the left side of central defence where he has played all season so far.
Of his predicament, the Dutchman said: "No. The left-footed players, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo, are injured, so I have a problem.
"I have changed every player except a left-footed player so Daley Blind has played all the minutes (this season).
"(Chris) Smalling had also played all the minutes and because of that I (substituted) him (against Ipswich) and brought (Phil) Jones in.
"We have to spare players and Smalling and (Juan) Mata has played all the minutes, but I cannot spare Blind because all the left-footed players are injured."