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Manchester United latest: Including Crouch and Lewandowski

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News, views, and gossip relating to Manchester United over the past 24 hours...

Stoke City striker Peter Crouch says he is confident Stoke City can confound their recent record and get a result at Old Trafford. The Potters have lost every game away to United since being promoted to the Premier League in 2008. While admitting the game at the weekend will be tough, the 31-year-old says the squad are buoyed by their recent draw at Anfield and will head into the game believing anything is possible.

United will hope to have the trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young all available very soon. Smalling and Young will hope to be on the teamsheet against Stoke, while Jones is targeting the November 3 game at home to Arsenal.

Striker Robert Lewandowski has said he is not looking to move away from Dortmund, not now at least. He said he would like to play in English football 'one day', but for now there is 'no straight answer.'

Ashley Cole's contract unrest at Chelsea has see United linked with his signature. The 31-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, although his recent falling out with Rio Ferdinand makes such a deal even more unlikely.

Tom Cleverley yesterday said he was happy to play in any position for England, but it emerges he could be dropped for the returning Steven Gerrard tomorrow. We take a look at his progress in recent games and ask which role in midfield is his best position.

Steven Gerrard says Wayne Rooney must bide his time to take the England captaincy full-time, as he has no intention of leaving the international scene just yet.

The boss of Swiss club Basel, who knocked United out of the Champions League last season, has been sacked. The Swiss side sold young stars Xherdan Shaqiri and Ghanit Xhaka over the summer, and failed to progress past this year's qualifiers, with Heiko Vogel paying the price.

United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has no intention of taking the vacant manager jobs at Bolton or Blackburn. The Norwegian is currently manager of Molde, who are in the Europa League, and he says he is happy and was dismissive of the rumours.

Young United defender Tom Thorpe has said he is aiming for a first team role, after watching Scott Wootton and Michael Keane become involved with the squad of late. The 19-year-old is already a fixture in the club's under-21 side and has been particularly impressive as of late.

In light of United's last performance against Newcastle, Chris Winterburn takes a look at the narrow formation deployed that day, and urges the club not to leave behind the wing play which has made them so successful in recent seasons.

And finally, could a future United star hail from Azerbaijan? United have agreed a sponsorship deal with a telecoms company in the country, and plan to set up a joint scholarship programme for youngsters.

image: © Paolo Camera

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