October 26, 2013 3.00 PM BST
Old Trafford – Manchester
Manchester United face Stoke City at Old Trafford after a game against Real Sociedad on Wednesday night in which they should have won by more than just 1 goal, but a game they could equally have drawn.
But the own goal from Inigo Martinez was an important one for David Moyes as it eased the pressure on him ever so slightly after a last minute equalizer by Southampton last time out in the Premier League left him needing any win. United head into the game at Old Trafford in 8th place, but could find themselves in the bottom half of the table if they fail to get a win and results go against them.
Manchester United have failed to win in their last two games at home, losing to West Brom and drawing to Southampton. In both games United looked far from convincing, so Moyes will be hoping for a win against a Stoke side who have begun to stutter after a good start to the season.
Teams are heading to Old Trafford this season with no fear, believing they can get something out of the game, and Stoke will be no different, with manager Mark Hughes stating that United “a little bit vulnerable at the moment”.
He also said that Stoke would be “positive and have a go”. Despite West Brom and Southampton’s success at Old Trafford this season, it would seem unlikely that United will go three games without a win at home. Stoke are winless in their last 10 trips to Old Trafford, while no Stoke player has scored more than one league goal this season.
United will should be boosted by the return of Robin Van Persie who should be fit enough to face the Potters after he missed the Champions League game against Real Sociedad. David Moyes will also be hoping that Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley can all return after injury.
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross is hoping to feature, despite not training all week due to illness. Geoff Cameron is also hoping to return after sitting out last weekend’s game with a calf injury.
- Manchester United have won their last nine home league games against Stoke
- Stoke City meanwhile have only gained one point in their last 11 league matches against Manchester United, with their last win against United in any competition coming 20 years ago.
- United’s current tally of 11 points is their lowest after eight games of a season since 1989
- In their last five games, Stoke have only taken two points, scoring just one goal in the process.