Sebastian Larsson's strike secured a 1-0 triumph for the Wearsiders last term as their improbable bid for top-flight survival hit top gear against a side still reeling from David Moyes' sacking.
United are once again wounded heading into the clash after a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City last weekend, allowed Liverpool and Tottenham to move within striking distance in the race for a top-four spot.
While Louis van Gaal's tactics have been scrutinised this season, the Dutchman continues to get positive results at home - United have won 10 of their 13 home league matches this season.
United have remained unconvincing, though, and Poyet pinpointed their recent win over Burnley – which saw the team's efforts jeered by the Old Trafford faithful – as cause for optimism.
"Van Gaal was not happy about Burnley game but they scored three goals, but Burnley had plenty of chances," the Uruguayan told the club's official website.
"We need to look at that game as a good opportunity to play a certain way, be calm, and manage the game in certain way that it will suit our result.
"It is going to be tough, they have to come back [after the Swansea loss], they know us because of what happened last year.
"We need to be spot on, especially in defence. We need to concentrate in what we do."
Form is not on Sunderland's side, though, after just one win in their last nine, but Anthony Reveilliere hopes they can take confidence from Swansea's win.
"We know that it's a challenge that is never easy there," he told The Shields Gazette. "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."
Emanuele Giaccherini looks likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing further ankle surgery this week, while there are doubts over Billy Jones (ankle), Jack Rodwell (calf) and Will Buckley (knee).
United's injury list has one major addition to it after Saturday's defeat in Wales, Robin van Persie left the Liberty Stadium on crutches and could spend the next month out of action.
Michael Carrick has also been on the sidelines with a calf injury, while youngster James Wilson suffered a hip problem during an Under-21 game earlier this week.
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