Manchester United vs Stoke City Prediction – Devils to smash Potters at 12/1
Manchester United vs Stoke City – Old Trafford – January 15, 2018 – 20:00 hrs – EPL Preview
It's been one of the worst seasons for Stoke City ever. The first casualty of their current state-of-affairs has been coach Mark Hughes. He bid adieu to the Potters on January 6. Seven defeats out of the last ten Premier League games. The ultimate denouement in the form of a 1-2 defeat to fourth-tier side Coventry City in a FA Cup clash nailed Hughes’ expulsion.
Stoke in need of a Turnaround
Stoke are in the 18th place now and are in danger of getting relegated if the current trend follows. Things look bleak for the Potters as they head towards Old Trafford. They face a very unwelcome fixture against Table runners-up Manchester United.
Even with players of the caliber of Xerdan Shaqiri, Peter Crouch, Mame Biram Diouf and the talented Eric Choupo-Moting, all capable scorers in their own right, Stoke have been able to find the back of the net on only six occasions from their last seven games.
The Stoke back line has been a disaster. Having names like Kurt Zouma, Kevin Wimmer and Eric Pieters and English international goalie Jack Butland has meant little. The Potters conceding as many as 47 goals for the 2017-18 season (which is the highest let in by any side so far).
Hughes out Potter in?
Graham Potter, the 42-year old manager of Swedish club Ostersunds FK is someone whose name's doing the rounds as replacement for the sacked Mark Hughes. Stoke has quality players in their ranks and what they need is someone who can harness their strengths and lift their morale. No better test than an away game at Old Trafford.
It was the same Stoke City that had held Manchester United to a 2-2 draw at the Bet365 Stadium earlier in September. Jose Mourinho is bound to be wary about that.
Manchester United need points to chase City
Post their shock 1-2 defeat to Bristol City and exit from the EFL cup, the Red Devils managed to emerge with a face-saving win over League One side, Derby County, last Friday. Thanks to a string of three draws from their last four Premier League games, United have fallen behind a clean 15 points of Table toppers Manchester City.
Red Devils Injury News
Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a knee injury and Eric Bailly with a broken ankle are ruled out for the game against Stoke. So are right-back Antonio Valencia and central mid-fielder Michael Carrick. Ashley Young, the aggressive wing-back is still serving a three-match ban and will not be seen at the Old Trafford on Monday for the Stoke clash.
The usual suspects in the attack will be the out-of-form Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic as key play-makers in the mid-field.
Manchester United's most noteworthy achievement in recent times was their 1-3 away win at the Emirates against Arsenal in early December. But their form having fallen by the wayside since then, witnessed a revival of sorts with a New Years’ day away win against Everton.
Lukaku, who was so prolific at the start of the season, has scored only twice from his last ten Premier League appearances.
He will have to get his act together going forward. Lingard, Mata and Martial have been particularly sharp of late and it won't be surprising if one of them are on the score-sheet on Monday night.
Manchester United vs Stoke City Verdict
For United it will be an opportunity to gain their winning momentum back. For Stoke a chance to haul themselves up from the abyss they are in currently.
Bookmaker online odds heavily favor the hosts with possible score-lines reading 3-1 or 2-0.