Paul Merson predicts Stoke City v Manchester United

Stoke City host Manchester United on Boxing Day.

Paul Merson has told SkySports he predicts festive misery for Manchester United against Stoke City.

The Red Devils have lost two Premier League games in succession, defeated by Bournemouth and Norwich City and Merson expects Mark Hughes' side to inflict a third.

He stated that he forecasts a 2-1 win for Stoke, insisting he has no confidence in the United side.

He said: "I can't remember a United run of form this bad in recent memory and it's not just that, it's who they're losing to. You can understand if you're losing against Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City. But, and no disrespect to either team, they are losing to Bournemouth and Norwich now.

"The best United can hope for is 1-1, and that could be a struggle. I don't like going against Stoke at home, they tend to keep a lot of clean sheets, and I'm going with a win for the Potters again."

United have slipped to fifth position after those losses, nine points behind leaders Leicester, but are only out of the Champions League places on goal difference.

Their next game is at home to Chelsea, and back to back wins would dramatically lift the mood at Old Trafford.

Stoke is always a tough place to visit, and after a bad start to the season they have risen up the table to 11th place, just one point behind Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

They did though lose their last game, a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace, which will make them increasingly keen to get a result against United to make up for it.

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