Mark Hughes is hopeful his side will upset the odds on Sunday afternoon, as Stoke City head to Old Trafford in search of their first win of the 2016/17 campaign. Having previously never defeated United at the Theatre of Dreams, Hughes’ men must put things right defensively after failing to keep a clean sheet so far this season.
Manchester United vs Stoke City
Competition: Premier League
Date: Sunday 2nd October 2016
KO Time: 12:05pm
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Latest betting odds (bet365):
Manchester United: 1/3
Stoke City: 10/1
Our prediction: Stoke to win, and BTTS: 18/1
Long-shot: Marko Arnautovic to score, and Stoke City to win 1-2 – 70/1
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Having played in the Europa League on Thursday, United will host Stoke City on Sunday afternoon in what will be their third game in eight days at Old Trafford, and with United seemingly back to winning ways, and a tough schedule ahead for them, this looks to be another one of those afternoons for Stoke.
Mourinho is expected to recall skipper Wayne Rooney back to the United team after he was dropped for their recent Premier League game against Leicester.
It will be a game in which Rooney will be aiming to impress Jose as well as Anthony Martial, who is also expected to be recalled alongside Rooney.
Manchester United will be eager to get the three points on Sunday, as a testing schedule awaits them in the next coming weeks which sees them take on fierce rivals Liverpool at Anfield, Fenerbache, Chelsea and Manchester City in succession throughout all competitions.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to replace Marcus Rashford out wide, and Daley Blind looks to be slotting in the heart of United’s defence as Chris Smalling is set to miss out.
United were explosive against Leicester, having scored three times from set pieces, it’s not looking promising from a Stoke City perspective.
Paul Pogba will be aiming to build on his impressive display against Leicester and continue to prove the critics wrong over his much publicised world record transfer fee in the summer.
What the manager has said:
Manchester United predicted XI:
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Pogba, Herrera; Martial, Rooney, Mkhitaryan; Ibrahimovic.
Having cruelly been denied all three points last weekend, Mark Hughes heads to Old Trafford in search of his first victory of the season.
Salomon Rondon’s late header was a bitter blow to Hughes’ men who fought valiantly for 90 minutes against West Brom, and once again deserved all three points.
Joe Allen is the latest doubt for Mark Hughes, who insisted that whilst the Welshman could feature on Sunday, he is a doubt at this current moment.
Xherdan Shaqiri was back to his blistering best last Saturday as he tormented West Brom fullback, Allan Nyom on the day.
Hughes stated to BBC Radio Stoke that he intends to play the same back five that started against West Brom, whilst Frenchman Giannelli Imbula could feature in midfield for Stoke, replacing Joe Allen.
There is the other option of the little magician, Bojan Krkic. Bojan has found his opportunities come few and far in recent months for one reason or another ad the Spaniard’s introduction at the weekend would be a signal of serious intent from Mark Hughes.
Wilfried Bony will look to break his Potters duck also on Sunday as he chases his first goal in the famous red and white stripes, whilst Marko Arnautovic is set to make his 100th Premier League appearance for the Potters.
Sunday should prove a free hit for Hughes, and Manchester United go into the game as huge favourites, however, if their display against Zorya on Thursday is anything to go off, City could cause a serious upset on Sunday.
What the manager has said:
MH: “We have broken a few records in my time here and we have another opportunity to do that this weekend. It will be tough though. We want the first win and we are sure that it will come soon, although that will be difficult this weekend.”
Stoke City predicted XI:
Grant; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Imbula, Whelan; Arnautovic, Bojan, Shaqiri; Bony.