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Premier League

  • February 1, 2014
  • • 10:00
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 26547
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Premier League Preview: Stoke City - Manchester United

Premier League Preview: Stoke City - Manchester United

Mark Hughes' men slumped to defeat against Sunderland on Wednesday while their visitors beat Cardiff City and could field Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

Manchester United could unleash a new three-pronged attack at struggling Stoke City on Saturday.

Juan Mata - a 37.1 million pound January signing from Chelsea - made his United debut in a 2-0 victory over Cardiff City on Tuesday, while Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney returned from injury.

All three may start at the Britannia Stadium as David Moyes' side looks to turn a faltering Premier League campaign around.

Moyes had been without Van Persie (thigh) since a 1-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, while Rooney (groin) had been sidelined since New Year's Day.

In the duo's absence, the Old Trafford outfit fell to five defeats and were eliminated from both domestic cup competitions.

But the midweek triumph over Cardiff could revitalize United's season, and it will feel more than confident of overcoming a Stoke side which is without a win in its last six Premier League matches and sits just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Mark Hughes' men have suffered costly defeats to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and Sunderland in recent weeks and, with United, Manchester City and Arsenal to face in the space of a month, may need to cause at least one upset to drag themselves out of the mire.

However, securing victory over United is easier said than done - Stoke has not beaten the 20-time champion in the league since 1984.

United has already won against Stoke on two previous occasions this season, triumphing 3-2 in the league before claiming a 2-0 Capital One Cup victory at the Britannia Stadium last month.

Hughes will be without the services of Steven N'Zonzi, who serves a one-match suspension following his dismissal against Sunderland on Wednesday, while Robert Huth (knee), Andy Wilkinson (heel) and Matthew Etherington (calf) are injury doubts.

Marouane Fellaini (wrist) could return for United, but Rio Ferdinand (knee) is unlikely to feature and Michael Carrick (ankle) and Nani (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Nemanja Vidic, meanwhile, serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Stoke City

Manchester United

Wins
1
0
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
Draw
Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
86%

Top 3 Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
0 - 3
Manchester United FC MNU
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MNU
Stoke City FC STO
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MNU

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