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Premier League

  • January 31, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 74719
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Premier League Preview: Manchester United - Stoke City

The away side have lost just twice in their last 10 league games, but have won only once in their last six, as the Red Devils look to bounce back from Liverpool defeat


PROBABLE LINE-UPS
MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Rafael, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs
Park
Welbeck
STOKE CITY

Sorenson
Woodgate, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Shotton, Palacios, Whelan, Etherington
Walters, Crouch
Manchester United come into the game off the back of a demoralising FA Cup defeat at the hands of rivals Liverpool, although Rio Ferdinand's expected return will be a timely a boost for Sir Alex Ferguson.

The big question in terms of team selection will be surrounding the man between the sticks after summer signing David de Gea again found himself in the headlines for the wrong reason with another nervy display at Anfield.

Anders Lindegaard, who had featured for the previous four weeks before last Saturday’s game, could well return after receiving far more praise in just a handful of performances this season.

Stoke sailed through their FA Cup fourth round tie away to Derby County thanks to goals from Cameron Jerome and Robert Huth.

Last time out in the Premier League, an injury-time winner for West Brom condemned Stoke to only their second defeat in 10 games - a run which included a very credible draw away at Anfield and a victory over high-flying Tottenham. Expect Peter Crouch and John Walters to retain their places up front for Tony Pulis' side.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester United have won six and drawn one of seven games against Stoke City in the Premier League, conceding just three goals in the process.
  • If all games ended at half-time this season, United would have been at the top of the table.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson's men have conceded 16 of their 23 goals this season in the second half of games.
  • Stoke have lost just twice in their last 10 Premier League games, but have won only once in their last six.
  • Among all the clubs in the top-flight, Tony Pulis’ men have converted the most goals from set-piece situations this season.
  • However, the Potters also have the highest rate of conceding goals in the opening 45 minutes of a league match.
  • Stoke have won five games out of five where they were winning at half-time. Manchester United have won 13 out of 14 times. The one game they ended up drawing was against Stoke back in September.
  • The last time Manchester United were defeated by Stoke was in 1993 in the first leg of a League Cup tie at the old Victoria Ground.
  • The two teams have met each other 94 times, with United winning 36 to City's 26.
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Editor's Prediction

I fully expect Manchester United to bounce back from what Ferguson called a ‘sickening blow’ by losing to Liverpool last Saturday. Stoke held United to a 1-1 draw in the reserve fixture, and could well have won it in the end, but I can’t see things going quite so well this time around. Ferguson’s heavily depleted squad will be desperate to stop any slump as they turn full focus to an assault on the Premier League crown and when United are in the mood, little can stop them.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Stoke City

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Draw
Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
91%

Top 3 Predictions

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

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