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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
By Ryan Benson
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Kagawa, Carrick, Anderson
Van Persie, Hernandez
Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson
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) will face a late fitness test to determine whether he can be involved on Saturday after missing the opening two months of the season, while Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic (both knee) are still about a month away from returning.
Like Smalling, Ashley Young (knee) 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.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Man Utd. 3-0 Stoke
- 25.58 %
Man Utd. 3-1 Stoke
- 13.64 %
Man Utd. 2-0 Stoke
- 11.86 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 14, 2013||Stoke 0 - Man Utd. 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Oct 20, 2012||Man Utd. 4 - Stoke 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 31, 2012||Man Utd. 2 - Stoke 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 24, 2011||Stoke 1 - Man Utd. 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 4, 2011||Man Utd. 2 - Stoke 1|
|May 19, 2013||West Bromwich Albion 5 - Man Utd. 5||EPL|
|May 12, 2013||Man Utd. 2 - Swansea 1||EPL|
|May 5, 2013||Man Utd. 0 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|Apr 28, 2013||Arsenal 1 - Man Utd. 1||EPL|
|Apr 22, 2013||Man Utd. 3 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|14||Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez||Striker|