4-2-3-1: Man Utd Predicted XI to face Stoke
Manchester United travel to Stoke City in Saturday’s evening Premier League game looking to maintain their 100% record after the international break.
José Mourinho’s side have yet to concede a single goal in their opening three matches of the 2017-18 season and have only allowed five shots on David de Gea’s goal.
Stoke City have taken four points from their opening three games, scoring just twice. The fixture list doesn’t get any easier for Mark Hughes’ side this weekend having already travelled to West Brom and Everton and hosting Arsenal in between.
Here is the United team I think we’ll see taking on Stoke:
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
The Spaniard was forced into one difficult save in stoppage time in United’s 2-0 win over Leicester City before the international break, but has otherwise had an easy start to the new season. Coming up against the likes of Jesé, Bojan and Xherdan Shaqiri on Saturday could see David de Gea called upon more times than he has been in his opening three games.
Defence: Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind
Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are both suspended for United’s opening UEFA Champions League match at home to FC Basel on Tuesday so I think we’ll see them two play this weekend to allow Mourinho to rotate in Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelöf midweek. Antonio Valencia has been in South America for Ecuador’s World Cup qualifiers so could be given a break in favour of Matteo Darmian at right-back. Daley Blind was excellent for the Netherlands versus Bulgaria last weekend and should continue on the left.
Midfield: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matić; Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matić are turning into an excellent central midfield pairing. The French midfielder is starting to dominate games and score goals for United whilst Matić controls the game and protects the back four. Anthony Martial could get his second start of the season ahead of Marcus Rashford who was much busier over the international break. Henrikh Mkhitaryan should keep his number 10 role where he has been excellent in the first three games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesse Lingard starts midweek so Juan Mata should get the call on Saturday.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku
Three goals in his first three Premier League games, Romelu Lukaku has very little competition for his starting role at Old Trafford. The Belgian striker got a hat-trick for his country last weekend and will be looking to get the better of Ryan Shawcross and co this weekend.
NetBet have Manchester United as the 1/2 favourites having won all three of their matches to start the new season and looking good in the process. Stoke has traditionally been a tough place to go and Mark Hughes side have made a decent start to the campaign.
However, the Potters were on the backfoot for much of the game against Arsenal and should United have similar possession and territory stats then they will be great value to back.
Here is the Manchester United team on paper:
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