Stoke host Manchester United at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, September 24, 2011, in match week six of the Premier League.
United are riding high, with five wins in as many matches, and are clear leaders at the top of the table, ahead of second placed Manchester City, with 13 points, and Chelsea with 10. despite their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Sunderland in match week five, Stoke are in fifth place on the points table with eight points from five games.
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Defending champions United have been in tremendous form from the start of the season, and are bookies’ favourites to retain their title. However, Stoke are considered one of the toughest to beat before their home fans at the Britannia, and their win against Liverpool in match week four is evidence of that.
Both legs between these teams, last season, ended in United’s favour, by the identical score-line of 2-1.
For Manchester United, Rooney has been in top form, with nine goals from five matches, inducing Sir Alex Ferguson to compare his star striker with the legendary Pele.
For Stoke City, the most impressive player has been Jonathan Walters; it was Walters’ penalty against Liverpool that led the Potters to their win against the Merseysiders.
With seven strikers at his disposal, Sir Alex is yet to use last season’s top scorer in the starting eleven, this season. Hernandez has been combining brilliantly with Rooney, but with the “Little Pea” reportedly out for two weeks, nursing a leg injury, Berbatov could get his chance against the Potters. Cleverley is also carrying an ankle injury and could be out of action for 5 weeks. Wellbeck with a hamstring strain, Rafael with a shoulder injury, vidic with a calf muscle concern and Bebe with a knee injury are other players on United’s list of injured.
For Stoke, Fuller with Achilles tendon injury and Higginbotham with a knee injury are likely to miss the game with Manchester United. United are favourites attracting odds of 1.51, as against 6.81 offered for a Stoke win; a draw is quoted at 3.93.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.