Manchester United will be on the road on Boxing Day when they head down to Britannia Stadium to battle it out with Stoke City on Saturday, December 26. United has been struggling with results lately and turning off a lot of their fans with their uninspiring play. Manager Louis van Gaal is once again under fire from the United faithful and they weren’t too happy after losing 2-1 at home at Old Trafford to newly-promoted Norwich last weekend. Stoke is a middle-of-the-road team which managed to upset Manchester City 2-0 recently. They’re managed by former Man United and Wales star Mark Hughes.
- bet365 currently lists Man United as the favorites at 13/10 with Stoke 9/4 and a draw also at 9/4
Stoke City vs Manchester United – Head to Head
- The two teams drew 1-1 at Stoke last season with Man United winning the return encounter at Old Trafford by a score of 2-1. Stoke’s last win came in February of 2014 when they downed United 2-1 at the Britannia. The clubs have met 102 times in the past with United winning 42, losing 27 and drawing 33. Stoke has just two wins in the last 18 meetings with two draws and 15 defeats, but they’ve lost just one of the last three.
Stoke enters the weekend in 11thplace with 23 points from six wins, five draws and six losses. They’ve scored a league-low 14 goals in their 17 games, but are tied for the third-best defensive record with just 16 against. They have three victories at home with one draw and four losses along with eight goals scored and nine allowed. Stoke has three wins, a draw and a pair of losses in their past six home contests. They’ve kept seven clean sheets this season, but have also been shut out seven times as well.
Man United has slipped down to fifth place in the table and are now nine points behind league-leading Leicester City. They have 29 points from eight wins, five draws and four losses with 22 goals scored and are tied for the league-low with just 14 against. They’ve recorded nine clean sheets this season and have been shut out on five occasions. United has four victories, two draws and three defeats away from home with 12 goals for and 11 against. They have two wins, two draws and two losses in their past six road trips.
Stoke has home wins over Man City and Chelsea so far this season, so a win here wouldn’t come as a big surprise, especially with the uneventful style of football United has been playing as of late. However overall, Stoke doesn’t have a very good home record up to now. Van Gaal’s job is rumored to be on the line and a loss on Boxing Day could see him get the sack sooner rather than later. The United manager has some injury problems to deal with since defenders Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia will all miss the game while forward Jesse Lingard and defender Matteo Darmian are both doubtful. For the home side, it looks like Marc Muniesa, Stephen Ireland, Geoff Cameron, and Peter Crouch are all injured along with backup goalkeeper Shay Given.
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By Ian Palmer