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Premier League

  • 20 October 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 75585

Manchester United - Stoke Preview: Potters targeting first Old Trafford win since 1972

Sir Alex Ferguson's side could welcome both Chris Smalling and Ashley Young back from injury, while Michael Owen makes a return to his former club following summer move



De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
 Kagawa, Carrick, Anderson
Van Persie, Hernandez


Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson

N'Zonzi, Whelan
Walters, Adam, Kightly

After a concerning fitness crisis earlier in the season, Manchester United’s injury list appears to be gradually levelling out, but Sir Alex Ferguson still has a few players missing in defence for the visit of Stoke.

Chris Smalling (metatarsal) is nearing a return after missing the opening two months of the season but Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic (both knee) are both still about a month away from returning.

Ashley Young (knee), meanwhile, could be in contention to make his first appearance since August 25, but a start looks unlikely.

Coming into one of their most challenging matches of the season, Stoke have almost a full squad to pick from with very few players unavailable for Tony Pulis.

Michael Owen had been struggling with a knock recently but is expected to be available for selection, while Glenn Whelan (hamstring) is a little more doubtful and his fitness will be determined on Friday.

  • Manchester United have managed to save nine points from losing positions so far this season, more than any other team in the Premier League.

  • With five goals, the Red Devils have scored more from corners than any other side.

  • Robin van Persie has a good record against Stoke with six goals in his five league matches against them.

  • Javier Hernandez (pictured right) also enjoys facing the Potters, scoring four times in his four appearances against Tony Pulis’ side.

  • Stoke have not won any of the last 12 meetings with United at Old Trafford in all competitions, losing 11 and drawing once.

  • Michael Owen could make his first appearance against United since leaving them on a free transfer in the summer.

  • Sixty-seven per cent of Stoke’s league goals this season have come from set-pieces.

  • The 2-0 win over Swansea in late September remains Stoke’s only win in all competitions this season.

  • Pulis’ men have not won any of their last 13 league matches away from home, with their six points all coming in draws.

Players to watch

De Gea

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 10

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Due to his rather erratic form this season, the Spaniard is not necessarily guaranteed to start on Saturday, but his manager's confidence in him may give him the edge over Anders Lindegaard this week.

If the former Atletico Madrid man does start for the hosts, he will certainly be tested as United go up against arguably the league's most physical side, with Stoke scoring the majority of their goals from set-pieces this season. Aerially he will need to be on form, while Pulis' men will certainly put as much pressure on him as possible.

R. Shawcross

Position: Defender

Games: 4

  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
Former United youngster Shawcross could be important at both ends of the pitch for Stoke on Saturday, although his defensive concentration will be essential if a defeat is to be avoided.

With set-pieces a primary source of goals for Stoke, Shawcross' abiility in the air will be something the visitors will hope to exploit, potentially targetting David De Gea in goal. Meanwhile at the other end, United will be expected to pose several problems going forward with their plethora of attacking options, and the task of stopping them will fall on Shawcross' shoulders.

Editor's Prediction

Manchester United have rarely been at their best this season, but there are few teams they have as good a record against than Stoke. Pulis' side, meanwhile, are without a win on the road for months, meaning a home win seems rather inevitable on Saturday.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Stoke City


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City

Top 3 Predictions

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