An in-form Manchester United look to make it four wins on the trot as they host a winless Stoke City languishing at 19th on the Premier League table.
Manchester United have already seen the best of both worlds only 6 league games into the season. After a strong start, three wins on the trot, Mourinho saw his side losing two successive games to Manchester City and Watford.
The two defeats sparked debate about United’s title credentials and Mourinho’s appetite for success, but they announced their return to form in style. The Red Devils demolished the defending champions Leicester City 4-1 and go into the game on the back of a 3-game winning streak in all competitions.
Stoke City were seemingly on the verge of breaking into the top half over the last two seasons, but Mark Hughes has come under pressure this season with a disastrous start, collecting only 2 points from a possible 18 until now.
The Potters lie in 19th place, a position which doesn’t justify the abundance of talent at Hughes’s disposal and the former Manchester United player will be hoping to stop their winless streak at Old Trafford.
Team News & Tactics
Phil Jones continues to be on the sidelines, while Luke Shaw and Henrik Mkhitaryan are likely to be available for selection. Wayne Rooney is pushing for a spot after coming on and making an impact against Zorya in the mid-week game.
Mourinho rested the likes of Ander Herrera and Daley Blind for the mid-week game and one can speculate that the duo are sure to start against Stoke. The likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Eric Bailly look to be confirmed starters under the Portuguese manager.
David De Gea is likely to be back in goal in place of Sergio Romero, who kept a clean sheet against Zorya on Thursday. Juan Mata impressed against Leicester, earning the praise of his manager, and the Spaniard is set to start again on Sunday.
The combination of Herrera and Pogba looks the best possible duo in midfield for Mourinho. Herrera is industrious and his tenacity is a perfect match for the ever adventurous Paul Pogba.
Juan Mata has dazzled in a No. 10 position for the Red Devils, with the Spaniard being in his ‘natural habitat’. It is the combination play of the trio of Mata, Pogba and Ibrahimovic that seems to be taking center-stage in the United buildup to almost each attack.
Probable Lineup ( 4-2-3-1 ): De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Herrera Pogba; Martial, Mata, Rashford; Zlatan
Team News & Tactics
Goalkeeper Jack Butland is a crucial miss as he is likely to be out for another month, while the midfield duo of Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland are long-term absentees.
Joe Allen is a doubt with the former Liverpool midfielder having some problems with his hamstring which caused the midfielder to miss training since last week. Jonathan Walters is returning from an ankle injury and will be available for selection.
Mark Hughes’s side has thus far failed to perform both defensively and in attack. While the defensive woes could partly be chalked down to the missing Jack Butland, there are no excuses for the shoddy attacking display with stars like Shaqiri and Arnautovic at his disposal.
Probable Lineup ( 4-2-3-1 ) : Given; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins-Indi, Pieters; Cameron, Whelan; Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic; Bony
- Manchester United are undefeated at home against Stoke, having won 15 and drawn 1 of the 16 home games played.
- Manchester United have won every Premier League game at Old Trafford against Stoke since their promotion in 2008, having scored 25 goals in the process.
- Wayne Rooney has recorded 4 goals and 2 assists in the last three games against Stoke at Old Trafford.
- Stoke last won at Old Trafford in 1976 and the 1-0 win was also the last time the Potters kept a clean sheet against Manchester United.
- Manchester United have won five of the seven games that Rooney has not started while the Red Devils have won all four of the games that Juan Mata has started, with a 0% win rate in the two matches that the Spaniard has not featured in the starting lineup.
1. Manchester United Asian Handicap -1.5 @ 2.050
2. Over 10.5 Corners @ 1.925
3. Manchester United to score in first half @ 1.50
4. Manchester United to score in both halves @ 1.90
5. Manchester United HT Result @ 1.80
1. Over 1.5 Goals in FIrst half @ 2.50
2. Manchester United Over 1.5 Cards @ 2.62
Manchester United 3 – 0 Stoke City
The form of Manchester United and Stoke City reflect an ominous defeat on the cards for Mark Hughes come Sunday. It would take a momentous effort by the Potters in order to even trouble the scorekeepers, much less stop the Red Devils from scoring or managing a point or three from the game.
This could very well get ugly for Stoke City, who have been leaky at the back this season. The Potters face a side who are likely to go all out, and no mistake will go unpunished at Old Trafford on Sunday.
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