The English Premier League returns after a two week hiatus, with the Red Devils heading to the bet365 Stadium for a typically difficult test against the Potters on Matchday 4Build-up
United head to the bet365 Stadium looking to continue their winning start to the EPL campaign. The Red Devils are yet to leave the Potteries with three points since Sir Alex retired, and have won only three of their past eight EPL games against the Potters. It is safe to say United will have to be at their best to overcome a Stoke side which has been supplemented by some exciting summer acquisitions. Among those signings is former United midfielder Darren Fletcher. The Potters have had an indifferent start to the season having one win, one draw and a loss. The win came against Arsenal, demonstrating that Mark Hughes men are well capable of an upset on their day.
There are no new injuries reported after the internationals. Young and Shaw should be back in the frame soon, but are not in contention for the trip to Stoke. Rojo and Zlatan remain long term absentees.
United have available for selection: D.d.Gea, Romero, J.Pereira, Lindelof, Smalling, Bailly, Jones, Valencia, Blind, Darmian, Fellaini, Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford and Lukaku.
Jose has alluded to changes given the busy upcoming fixture schedule. Smalling replaces Jones – who has played a lot of football of late, and looked tired towards the end of the Slovakia match. Smalling’s height will be advantageous against the likes of Crouch and Zouma. Darmian (who is overdue a game) comes in for Blind, and the Italian’s pace should count against the likes of Jese and Shaqiri. Herrera’s tenacity alongside Matic could be instrumental to United retaining control of the game, the Spaniard replaces Mata. Alternatively, JM could play Mata instead of Mikki, given the diminutive player has had two weeks of rest. Same goes for Martial, who continues in place of Rashford. Lukaku’s physical presence up-top and form will be key to United’s chances.
Kick off: 5.30pm, 9th September 2017
Stadium: bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent
United have struggled against Stoke in recent time, but Jose men are currently playing with such confidence that it’s hard not to see this as another hard-fought victory for the Red Devils. United to win by 2 goals to nil. Lukaku and Martial to score.