Saturday, September 23, 2017

Prediction: Stoke City vs Manchester United

Verdict: Manchester United to win to Nil

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester United will be looking to extend their perfect start to the new Premier League season as they end the international break with a trip to the Bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City.

Stoke City

Stoke have endured mixed fortunes at the beginning of the new campaign. The Potters suffered an opening-day defeat at Everton which was followed by a win over Arsenal and a drat at West Bromwich Albion. Having upset one of Premier League’s biggest clubs already – Arsenal – the hosts will be hoping to do the same on Saturday when they welcome in-form Red Devils. The Potters will be hoping the summer arrival Jese Rodriguez could make all the difference after his fine start to the season, but he will definitely need help from the rest of the team if Stoke plan on getting anything positive out of this clash. Stoke City are coming off from what can be described as a successful transfer window and the hopes are high for the season ahead of us. Having bolstered their ranks with the likes of Kevin Wimmer, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Darren Fletcher and Kurt Zouma in addition to the aforementioned Jese, Stoke City are hoping to improve their last season result which got them stuck in 12th place in the standings. Mark Hughes is well aware that other clubs also did well in the market to boost their squads and he is ready to put his newly-formed team for the first big test of the season on Saturday.

Team News

Ibrahim Affelay is out with a knee injury, whereas Haugaard, Ireland and Ngoy will not be able to help their teammates due to their respective injury problems.

Darren Fletcher will be hoping to shake off his knee problem in time for the match against his former side, but there is a possibility that he won’t make it in time.

Manchester United

It’s fair to believe that not even the most enthusiastic Manchester United fans did not believe their club would have made such a remarkable start to the new season. Still, with Jose Mourinho completing an impeccable summer in the transfer market the success hardly comes a surprise. The Portuguese tactician is known to be most successful at his second year in a club. And if Manchester United’s perfect start to the Premier League is anything to go by, the Red Devils could be in line for a brilliant campaign. Mourinho wanted to add at least four new players to cover the frailties he identified in the squad, but was forced to settle for three new players. Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic are the players Manchester United brought this summer with two of the three already proving to be such great signings. Romelu Lukaku has been a huge force upfront, whereas with Nemanja Matic holding the lines in the midfield the entire team looks better and more composed. Former Chelsea midfielder allowed more freedom for Paul Pogba, who is finally able to express himself fully at Manchester United. Anyhow, Mourinho will get his fourth man later in the season when Zlatan Ibrahimovic recovers. The Swedish striker will add a valuable option upfront and will make United even stronger.

Team News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still nursing his knee injury despite the remarkable progress achieved against all odds.

Marcu Rojo and Luke Shaw complete the injury list for the visitors, although the latter is nearing full fitness after a couple of test matches for the U23 side.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Man United have kept 5 clean sheets in a row
  • Red Devils have 100% record after three rounds
  • Mourinho’s men scored 10 goals in the process
  • Stoke will have 5 first-team players unavailable for the game
  • United failed to win at Stoke in any of their last 4 visits

Conclusion

The most recent history at the Bet365 Stadium does not favour Manchester United, but we are determined the things are about to change. Manchester United are a well-oiled machine with great quality in every line of their team and with Jose Mourinho at the helm this could truly turn out to be their season.

Verdict: Manchester United to win to Nil

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

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