We aren't into the meat and potatoes of the English Premier League season yet, and already Manchester United looks to be in midseason form.
They have already competed in five premiership matches thus far and have 15 points. In short, they have been as good as they could possibly be.
United's winning ways will continue against Stoke City, but it won't be without a challenge from the Potters, who will be at home.
Stoke, like most squads, plays well at their home grounds, having lost only one match there in 2011. Their fans are as boisterous and rowdy as they come, giving their home side a definitive advantage in home matches.
It will also help Stoke's chances that Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney, as Rooney is dealing with a hamstring strain.
Some are predicting that all of these things will be enough to bring about an upset victory for the Potters. The U.K.'s Guardian newspaper even predicts a 3-2 victory for Stoke City.
Count me as one that doesn't see an upset coming, however. The Red Devils are just playing too well right now and they will rally together as a team, even without their star.
This is also the same Stoke team that dropped a 4-0 result last time out against Sunderland.
A win for Manchester United in this game will actually serve to make them stronger as a team. A road win without their biggest star will bring them together and put them in great shape to have a special season.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!