Stoke City - Manchester United Preview: Potters look to record first league win over Red Devils since 1984
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
By Jack Davies
Juan Mata - a £37.1million 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 look 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.
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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 revitalise United's season, and they will feel more than confident of overcoming a Stoke side who are without a win in their last six Premier League matches and sit 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 have not beaten the 20-time champions in the league since 1984.
United have 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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Stoke City 0-3 Manchester United
- 23.42 %
Stoke City 1-3 Manchester United
- 16.89 %
Stoke City 0-2 Manchester United
- 14.01 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||1 Feb 2014||Stoke City 2 - Manchester United 1|
|England - Capital One Cup (League Cup) (CCUP)||18 Dec 2013||Stoke City 0 - Manchester United 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||26 Oct 2013||Manchester United 3 - Stoke City 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||14 Apr 2013||Stoke City 0 - Manchester United 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||20 Oct 2012||Manchester United 4 - Stoke City 2|
|12 Apr 2014||Stoke City 1 - Newcastle United 0||EPL|
|5 Apr 2014||Chelsea FC 3 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|29 Mar 2014||Stoke City 1 - Hull City 0||EPL|
|23 Mar 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Stoke City 4||EPL|
|15 Mar 2014||Stoke City 3 - West Ham United 1||EPL|
|Returns:||Stoke City £85.00||Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £47.50||Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200|
|Returns:||Man. United £16.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|