Manchester United vs. Stoke City: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
An inspired performance from Wayne Rooney allowed Manchester United to earn a midweek Champions League victory over Real Sociedad. Now, the club's search for top form continues heading into a Premier League meeting with Stoke City.
United are hoping Robin van Persie will be ready to return after missing the triumph over Sociedad due to nagging injuries. If the Red Devils are going to rebound from a slow start, they need all of their stars, including the talented striker, to stay healthy.
As for Stoke, the trend of strong defensive play paired with major attacking struggles has continued. The Potters have failed to score in their past three matches, a pair of 1-0 defeats and a scoreless draw. They will try to end the frustrating stretch against United.
Let's take a glance at all of the key information for the Premier League clash, followed by an examination of the top storyline and a match prediction.
What's your prediction for Saturday's game?
Where: Old Trafford in Greater Manchester, England
When: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. BST)
Watch: NBC Sports Network and Setanta Sports 1
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Match Forecast (via Bloomberg Sports)
Manchester United: 56.3 percent
Stoke City: 19.1 percent
Draw: 24.6 percent
Top Storyline: Can Manchester United begin to make a Premier League charge?
Heading into the weekend action, United currently sit in eighth place and are eight points off the pace being set by Arsenal. A disappointing start, highlighted by just one home win in four league matches at Old Trafford, has put the club in an early hole.
There's still plenty of time to make up ground, of course. Yet, the longer United goes without making up at least some ground is going to make the comeback even tougher. They have already squandered some chances, including a home draw with Southampton last week.
The next three league matches provide an opportunity. United have winnable matchups with Stoke and Fulham before taking on Arsenal. A trio of victories would brighten hopes for a repeat bid by the defending champions.
It has to start by taking care of business against Stoke. Having van Persie available is crucial because the Potters are going to hunker down at the back and use their defensive strength in an attempt to further frustrate the Red Devils.
If van Persie and Rooney are both in the lineup, United should be able to eventually break down that wall in order to earn three points. Anything less would be another step in the wrong direction.
Asmir Begovic and the Stoke back line are going to pose a tough test for United. The Potters aren't going to put on much attacking pressure, but they force every opponent to work hard if they are going to earn all three points.
United must offset that strength at the back by playing an up-tempo style to ensure they are able to generate a lot of chances. If they sit back and are simply happy to control possession without pushing forward aggressively, the edge swings to Stoke.
Ultimately, United should do enough to earn the win, but it won't be easy.
Manchester United 2, Stoke City 0
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?