Manchester United will welcome a struggling Stoke City to the Old Trafford as they look to notch up back to back victories after a minor hiccup in the Premier League. United bounced back after a shock 1-3 defeat against Watford to decimate Leicester City 4-1 in what has been arguably hailed as one of their best performances in the last 5 years. Mourinho made the big call of dropping Rooney last weekend and it will be interesting to see whether the club captain is reinstated or not.
They will be facing a Stoke City side who are in dire straits after a poor run of results which sees them at the bottom of the Premier League table. Stoke were set up for a big season having taken their time adjusting to Mark Hughes’ tactics but have spectacularly failed to execute them this season. Every match from now on will be crucial for them, with the club looking to get as far away from the relegation zone as possible.
TEAM NEWS AND PREDICTED LINE-UPS
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1)
Luke Shaw remains a doubt for the home encounter against Stoke City due to illness. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been pictured in training but seems to be far away from making a first team appearance. A number of first team players will likely make a return to the starting eleven having being rested in midweek.
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Pogba, Herrera; Mata, Rooney, Rashford; Ibrahimovic
Allen is suffering from a tight hamstring and will need assessment before the match. Jon Walters is fit but he is likely to make an appearance from the bench. Jakob Haugaard is a doubt due to an ankle complaint, while Jack Butland, Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay remain sidelined.
Given; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Cameron, Whelan; Shaqiri, Allen, Arnautovic; Bony
The big Swede has fallen right into place at United and has delivered on what he was asked to do. Ibrahimović was a ready-made solution for the Red Devils lack of goals and on early evidence, it has worked out well. Once again against a struggling Stoke side, he will be expected to come up with the goods. Having scored the winner in midweek, he will look to score in back to back matches and it will be a tough ask for the Potters to contain him.
Not much has gone right for Stoke City thus far and the lack of leaders in the team is showing. Someone who will put his hand up and take the initiative has been the sore missing point in this team. But the Austrian possesses enough quality to trouble the United backline. They haven’t looked the most comfortable in recent weeks and Arnautovic should look to get into one on one situations with them. It is of paramount importance that he is in good touch tomorrow if Stoke are to even challenge.
MANCHESTER UNITED- 1/3
STOKE CITY- 10/1