OLD TRAFFORD, Sporting Alert – Manchester United will look to build on its impressive FA Cup victory last week when Stoke City head to Old Trafford for an English Premier League visit.
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The Red Devils defeated Derby County 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup and were dominant in doing so as well.
French striker Anthony Martial and club captain Wayne Rooney were among the star players that day for the English Premier League giants, but they will come up against a Stoke City side that defeated them 2-0 in the league when these two teams last met on Boxing Day.
Louis van Gaal breathe a sigh of relief when Man United got past Derby, but the pressure will certainly return if his team fails to beat the Potters at home on Tuesday.
Stoke, in the meantime, have not won in four outings and were soundly beaten 3-0 by Leicester City in the league on Jan. 23.
Mark Hughes’ team has recorded 2 wins, 2 defeats and 1 loss in the last five English Premier League games, but the experts are backing the visitors to pile the burden back on Van Gaal by going to Old Trafford and hand the hosts another defeat on home soil.
OPTA STATS NOTES:
According to Opta Stats, Manchester United have beaten Stoke 11 times in the league and have scored 32 goals in the process. That means they are averaging almost three goals per league contest against the Potters.
Van Gaal’s team has scored just 28 goals in their opening 23 league games this season, which is shocking and the lowest at this stage during league season in 26 years.
And speaking of goals, Rooney, who is enjoying a good run of form since the turn of the New Year, has scored three goals in his last two English Premier League showings against Stoke at home.
The experts and a few bookies are backing Stoke City to edged past Manchester United in this fixture, but according to Opta Stats, Hughes has lost his last eight trips in a row to Old Trafford.
Manchester United (squad): De Gea, Romero, Varela, Borthwick-Jackson, Smalling, Blind, McNair, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini, Depay, Lingard, Mata, Januzaj, Pereira, Martial, Rooney, Keane.
Stoke (squad): Butland, Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters, Whelan, Afellay, Shaqiri, Walters, Arnautovic, Bojan, Haugaard, Bardsley, Van Ginkel, Ireland, Joselu, Crouch, Biram Diouf.