The 48-year-old interim head coach took the Black Cats to Old Trafford in April 2006 during his previous spell as caretaker manager and emerged with a creditable 0-0 draw.
However, the experience was soured by the fact that Sunderland, who were all but doomed when Mick McCarthy parted company with the club, were formally relegated that day.
A repeat of that scoreline at the Stadium of Light this time around would represent a major boost to morale on Wearside with the club still looking for a first league win of the current campaign, although Ball knows just how difficult that will be despite the criticism United have had in the wake of defeats by Manchester City and West Brom.
Asked if United boss David Moyes' detractors were unreasonable in expecting instant success, he said: "From Manchester United's point of view, they are probably entitled to do that.
"But they have also got to understand when things change, it takes time to build some sort of momentum, and I have no doubt in time, that will happen there.
"I just look at it as Manchester United. I know what quality of players they have got and know it's going to be a very difficult game.
"What's gone on in previous games, I'll look at, but it doesn't really count because they have got a lot quality about them, they are a good team.
"I am really hoping David Moyes is successful there."
There will be several familiar faces in the United squad from the side which ran out against the Black Cats all those years ago with Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney among those still going strong.