Stoke City had got off to a horrendous start and were in the relegation zone with little to be positive about. But a string of victories got them back into reckoning and into a comfortable mid-table standing, off late. But another poor run without a win for 5 matches threatened to derail their campaign once more. But two back to back wins sees them in the 9th place.
But things aren’t going to get any easier with matches against Manchester United and Everton next up. Mark Hughes hasn’t had the best of campaigns till now and has not being helped by frequent injuries and suspension. But on some level, he will consider himself lucky as without being at their best till now, they are still in the 9th spot.
Their next opponents, Manchester United, will be extremely hard to beat or get any points against. Their impressive winning run did end last week against Liverpool, as they drew 1-1 but Jose Mourinho seems to have the right chords lately and Stoke will have to be at their defiant best to have any hopes of stifling the likes of Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Mkhitaryan.
Anything other than an away win is looking difficult but having managed to miraculously draw 1-1 at Old Trafford this season, another shock will be more than welcome for the Potters.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Stoke City Lineup Vs Manchester United
Lee Grant is likely to continue in goal having impressed just enough to have a run in the team and will be a busy customer on the weekend.
A back four is looking likely which will see Johnson and Pieters line up as conventional fullbacks.
Ryan Shawcross will be in central defence with Bruno Martins Indi as his partner. Stoke haven’t covered themselves in glory at the back lately and need to cut down on individual errors more than anything else, especially against better teams.