Stoke City vs Manchester United Match Preview

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The Red Devils take a trip to the Bet365 Stadium hoping to carry on their sensational form from before the international break. We kicked off this season with three wins out of three and managed to rack up 10 goals in the process. That's not all, Manchester United also managed to maintain three clean sheets and were dominant in every game. Although we are only three games into the season, our performances have led to everyone having high expectations for us this season. Many pundits have backed us for winning the league and my only hope is that we do not foil under the pressure. However, we have finally brought the 'fear factor' back to Manchester United. For the past few seasons, teams haven't feared us, but now we are back playing the way we used to - attacking football and inevitably breaking down defences. 

Last season, in both encounters, the Potters held us to a 1-1 draw. However, we have quickly put to bed the problems we had in failing to turn control of games into goals and wins last season. Mark Hughes' side currently sit 11th in the league table after beating Arsenal, drawing to West Brom and losing to Everton. One big injury which Stoke have is Ryan Shawcross who the boss confirmed is unlikely to play with a back problem. Hughes is confident that his team can beat United but he knows that it won't be easy. Jose Mourinho has admitted that Stoke are "aggressive, defend with a lot of people and a re dangerous on the counter attack". Hopefully United's attacking pressure will be too much for Stoke to withstand and once again, after the first goal, there will be more to follow. 

Saturday is set to feature some exciting games of football with many big teams coming up against each other. Manchester City will play Liverpool at 12:30 and then at 3pm Leicester are set to face Chelsea and Everton will play Spurs. With Manchester City and Liverpool both on 7 points, both teams will be looking to get ahead of one another and close in on us. The best result for us would be a draw between them as that would open up a gap of four points from them and provide us with some breathing space. Furthermore, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal will all be desperate to get wins and make up for unnecessarily dropping points against weaker oppositions. Also, Everton (who we thought had had an exceptional summer transfer window) have got off to a poor start this season. They will be looking to hit some form before they start their Europa League group stage campaign. 

United could have Ashley Young and Luke Shaw available for selection after their appearances for the U23s prior to the international break. Only Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are unavailable, both hoping to make a comeback around the Christmas period. We have been very lucky with injuries so far this season and over the international break. If we are hoping to win the Premier League and do well in the cups, we need to keep all our players available. A big loss for us is the departure of Andreas Pereira on loan to Valencia. Mourinho has made it clear that he didn't want Pereira to leave and therefore inserted a clause where we have the option to recall him on January the first. 

Overall, Mourinho's men are in inspiring form and will be hoping to continue it with a win against Stoke City. With the Champions League fixtures coming up (Basel at home on Tuesday), we need to keep building momentum. Stoke are clearly not an easy team to break down, but we know for a fact that we have the players and quality needed to walk away with a win!

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