Once again, only a win will do for Manchester United as Liverpool face Manchester City this afternoon and, whilst they are tipped to be the first club to beat the League leaders, a win for United would reduce the deficit to 12 points and would stretch the gap from Chelsea to three points and would continue United’s 100% win record in 2018 after consecutive 2-0 wins against Everton and Derby County.
Manchester United will be hoping for a change of luck against Stoke City, who have been somewhat of a bogey team for Manchester United in recent times with the Potters holding United to three draws on the trot and most recently the 2-2 draw at the Britania which ruined the Red Devil’s 100% win streak in the Premier League at the beginning of September.
Manchester United are still without Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who might both be out until the end of January. Michael Carrick may still be out with his heart problems and likewise Valencia may still be out with the injury suffered against WBA but both players were seen in the Dubai training camp and may be in contention to start. Whilst Ashley Young was also seen in the camp, he is finishing his last game of his three-match ban after elbowing Dusan Tadic in the 0-0 home draw with Southampton.
Managerless Stoke City are on a horrendous run of form and are winless in their last four games, conceding nine goals, including two to League Two side Coventry City in the FA Cup. They are in a defensive nightmare and their big players such as Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting and Crouch all playing inconsistently and not looking like scoring. On the other hand, Jesse Lingard is in white hot form and has scored seven Premier League goals this season and has got a firm grip on his place in the Manchester United side. Likewise Anthony Martial has been in fantastic form this season and scored the same number of goals as Lingard and should be a sure starter in the side, with Rashford in poor form and not as influential as he was at the beginning of the season. Romelu Lukaku will also be hoping to make his first Premier League start since he was stretchered off against Southampton and hope to get back into his goal-scoring form and give his team a much needed win.
Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Lindelof, Jones, Rojo, Shaw, Matic, Fellaini, Pogba, Martial, Lingard, Lukaku
Predicted Score: 3-0