Stoke City vs Manchester United
Venue – Britannia stadium
Date –1st January 2014
Time – 6:15 PM IST
Manchester United failed to capitalize on slip ups by Chelsea and Manchester City last week as Louis Van Gaal’s side settled for a draw against highflying Spurs last week in the Barclays Premier League. Arsenal were perhaps the only side that made the most of the slip up and are now within touching distance of the top 4 slot. This will perhaps play in the back of the Dutchman’s mind as he prepares his side to face Stoke City, a team that they beat just about a month ago. Stoke are rallying as of late picking up three wins in their last 5 games post the United defeat and they look ever so confident heading into this fixture.
Stoke are perhaps one of the most solid sides at home and their track record at the Britannia proves all the facts. Their style of football influenced by former United player Mark Hughes has proved to be very handy for them and they are currently on a revival mode in the Premier League. Their philosophy of playing attacking and physical football has earned them a good reputation in the league and United’s defense will be put to the test. Sparky will be a keen on proving a point to his former employers and what better opportunity than a new year’s fixture at home?
Manchester United – WWDWD
Stoke City- WDLWW
Key factors in the match:
Bojan initially looked like a player who would not fit into Stoke’s style of play. But the Spanish striker has adapted rather well into becoming a lethal striker for them. His pace and trickery has left a handful of defenses look perplexed over the last few months and he will look to add United to this list as well.
David De Gea was the difference when the two sides met last month and the Spanish shotstopper will have a huge role to play again. He has been solid between the sticks for them this season and has also made up for a lackluster defense.
Mirror UK – 1-2 to United
BBC – 0-2 to United