Premier League Preview: Stoke City vs. Manchester United

Getty Images
2 Comments
  • United are winless in 4 PL matches
  • Stoke have scored fewest goals in PL
  • United on Boxing Day – W18, D2, L1

Manchester United is stumbling, but the Red Devils are hoping their dominance on Boxing Day will continue at the Britannia against Stoke City (Watch live, Saturday at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

If United doesn’t take all three points on Saturday, they will be winless in seven matches in all competitions, the club’s worst run since 1989.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Louis Van Gaal is under fire at Old Trafford, as recent struggles have seen United drop to fifth on the table. Some believe Saturday’s match against Stoke could be LVG’s last if he doesn’t get a win, but history is on the Dutchman’s side. United has dominated on Boxing Day, with just one loss in their past 21 matches on December 26. However, the Red Devils have struggled to score, and face a Potters side that has kept a clean sheet in seven of their past ten Premier League matches.

Mark Hughes‘ Stoke City sit 11th on the table and are coming off of a tough loss to Crystal Palace last weekend. The Potters will be without the USMNT’s Geoff Cameron, who will miss his second straight match with a hamstring injury. Despite being in better form than United, Stoke has lost 11 of 14 all-time Premier League meetings with the Red Devils, earning just one win.

What they’re saying

Stoke boss Mark Hughes on facing United: “I have been asked whether this is a good time to play them, but I am always wary of that because these type of clubs more often than not bounce back emphatically. The players there are representing a global brand and the players have a responsibility to produce the goods more often than not, so they will be desperate to get back on track at the weekend.”

United captain Wayne Rooney: “You have a lot of people talking about things they believe are happening when in reality the people writing that stuff don’t know anything that’s happening. We’re fighting for the manager and trying to get results to turn this around.”

Prediction

Manchester United has lost three straight matches and have looked lifeless over the past month, and a trip to Stoke is the last thing Louis van Gaal would want right now. Despite what the eye-test says about United, they simply don’t lose on Boxing Day, and I’m siding with history on this one. Stoke City 0-1 Manchester United.