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Premier League

  • 26 October 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 75274

Manchester United - Stoke City Preview: Van Persie set for return

The Netherlands international missed the club's Champions League win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday through injury but is likely to make his comeback on Saturday

Robin van Persie is set to make his return from injury for Manchester United's Premier League fixture against Stoke City on Saturday.

The Netherlands international was rested for his side's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Champions League on Wednesday but David Moyes is positive over the striker's availability for the match at Old Trafford.

"I hope Robin will be fit for the weekend," said Moyes.

"He had a couple of niggling injuries even before he went on international duty and they have all just caught up on him a bit.

"I thought if I had a chance to give him a breather I would and fortunately for us it worked out fine."

Tom Cleverley (calf), Rio Ferdinand (groin) and Nemanja Vidic (knock) will all hope to be available. Darren Fletcher, meanwhile, has returned to training following 10 months out with a chronic bowel condition.

Reigning champions United - who sit eighth in the table - have taken just five points from a possible 12 at Old Trafford this season, and conceded late to draw their last home encounter 1-1 with Southampton on Saturday.

That result means Moyes' men could go three games without a home victory in the Premier League for the first time since October 2005 should Stoke deny them three points this weekend.

Their only top-flight success at Old Trafford this term came in a 2-0 triumph over Crystal Palace in September, and Moyes will be desperate for his side to buck that trend against Mark Hughes' team.

Ahead of the game, midfielder Michael Carrick admitted United must do more to improve their position in the division, as they sit some eight points behind leaders Arsenal.

"The frustrating thing is we have had moments in certain games when you think 'this is it, we're on the up'," he told the club's official website.

"You can look at the Southampton game last Saturday and say we really should have won.

"In the past we have been good at getting on top of those things and seeing games out. I am sure we will do that in the games we have coming up."

Stoke come into the fixture on a five-match winless run in the top flight, and drew a blank in their latest encounter with West Brom.

Indeed, Hughes' men have failed to score in their last three Premier League games, but have never gone four without scoring since gaining promotion in 2008.

If Stoke - who have taken just one point from their 10 Premier League meetings with United - manage to pull off an unlikely win on Saturday, it would represent Hughes' 100th Premier League victory as a manager.

Hughes may be without former United defender Ryan Shawcross who has been unable to train this week through illness, but Geoff Cameron could return from a groin injury.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
25Marouane FellainiMidfielder
44Adnan JanuzajMidfielder
14Javier HernándezStriker
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
3Erik PietersDefender
4Robert HuthDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
20Geoff CameronDefender
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
15Steven N'ZonziMidfielder
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
10Marko ArnautovicStriker
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
25Peter CrouchStriker
29Thomas SørensenGoalkeeper
12Marc WilsonDefender
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
16Charlie AdamMidfielder
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
11Oussama AssaidiStriker

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