Odds: Manchester United 4/11, Draw 17/4, Stoke 21/2
Last season 4-2
Manchester United go into this game looking to build up some momentum having made a stuttering start to the league season under David Moyes. Having won in the Champions League in midweek against Real Sociedad, leaving them in a strong position in their group, Moyes will be hoping for a similar kind of showing on Saturday in the league. They currently sit 8th in the table on 11 points after eight games, and are eight points off the pace in the title race, so many critics will be saying they have got to start picking up wins soon if they are to stand any chance of retaining their Premier League crown.
Mark Hughes takes his Stoke City to Old Trafford struggling for goals and sitting one point above the drop zone at this early stage of the season having picked up eight points from eight games as he continues to try to get Stoke City playing a more fluid passing game than what was seen under Tony Pulis, but with the same players.
On the injury front, Robin Van Persie missed Manchester United’s win over Real Sociedad in the Champions League but manager David Moyes is hopeful that he will be fit for the clash with the Potters. Stoke look to be okay on the injury front with Geoff Cameron likely to be available for selection following a calf problem.
Robin Van Persie is Manchester United’s top scorer in the league with four goals this season.
Jermain Pennant, Charlie Adam, Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are Stoke City’s top league scorers with one goal each this season.
Manchester United’s last six: Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 3
Stoke City’s last six: Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 3
Manchester United’s home form: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 1, Goals For 4, Goals Against 3
Stoke City’s away from: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 3, Goals For 2, Goals Against 5
Manchester United had 46% possession in their last league match, a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton
Stoke City had 50% possession in their last league match, a 0-0 draw at home to West Brom
Five players to watch
With Stoke only scoring the four league goals this season, there is a little bit of pressure on the strikers to step up and take some responsibility. Jones seems to be the favoured selection for Mark Hughes at the moment, so can he start finding the net in the league?
David Moyes said he was impressed with Kagawa’s performance against Real Sociedad this week, and many have wondered why the midfielder doesn’t get a consistent run in the side. Will he be rewarded with a place in the starting line-up against Stoke?
He is the man in form for Manchester United, so much so that former manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he is undroppable. Expect Rooney to impress once again.
Adam can blow hot and cold but is always worth keeping an eye on, sometimes he can do something wonderful, followed by terrible. If the right Charlie Adam turns up he can be a bit of a nuisance.
He has a pretty good record against Stoke City scoring four goals in six appearances and if Robin Van Persie still isn’t fit enough to take his place in the starting line-up, the onus could be on the Mexican to deliver the good for David Moyes’ side.
Last time they met
Stoke 0-2 Manchester United, Premier League April 2013
Two sides with contrasting fortunes as Manchester United took another step to claiming their 20th league crown whilst Stoke were looking more and more anxiously over their shoulders. Michael Carrick gave United an early lead after prodding home from a corner whilst Robin Van Persie ended a run of ten games without a goal from the penalty spot to make sure of victory for United. Stoke, however had only won one game in their last 14 following this result.