Man Utd v Stoke

03 January 2011 01:13
Manchester United will check on the fitness of Wayne Rooney, who took a kick on the ankle from Chris Brunt at West Brom on Saturday.Patrice Evra and Darron Gibson are also doubts after picking up knocks in that game, while Nani is hoping to return from a hip problem. [LNB]Stoke defender Robert Huth is available after suspension. [LNB]Mamady Sidibe remains sidelined with an Achilles injury, but Tony Pulis has an otherwise fully-fit squad. [LNB][LNB]Man Utd[LNB]Doubtful: Evra (black eye), Gibson (unspecified), Nani (hip), Rooney (ankle) [LNB]Injured/unavailable: Hargreaves (hamstring), O'Shea (calf), Park (international duty), Scholes (groin), Valencia (ankle) [LNB]Stoke[LNB]Injured: Sidibe (Achilles) [LNB][LNB] MATCH PREVIEW If winning when not playing well really is the hallmark of champions, then little wonder Manchester United are the bookies' favourites to win a record 19th league title this season.[LNB] The games come thick and fast and we have got to make sure we get the bodies right. Hopefully we can go there with a bit of confidence and maybe nick a result Stoke's Dean Whitehead Conventional wisdom holds that Sir Alex Ferguson's side have struggled to rise above the ordinary this season, and yet they go into this match having led the table since November following an unbeaten start than now stands at 19 matches. [LNB]Another workmanlike display at West Brom on Saturday resulted in another three points, and United now welcome a Stoke side who have lost all five of their Premier League head-to-heads. [LNB]The Potters' last two visits to Old Trafford ended 5-0 and 4-0, but they showed much greater resilience in this season's reverse fixture when United needed an 86th minute winner from Javier Hernandez to deny Stoke a first-ever Premier League point against them. [LNB]City kicked off 2011 with an uplifting 2-0 victory over Everton that pushed them up to eighth in the table, and a surprise victory at Old Trafford would see the Potters climb above Bolton and Sunderland into the dizzying heights of sixth. [LNB][LNB] MATCH FACTS Head-to-head[LNB]• The Potters' last league win over United came on Boxing Day 1984 at the old Victoria Ground. It is over 34 years since they last tasted victory at Old Trafford, a 1-0 win in April 1976. [LNB]• Man Utd have won 10 of the last 13 league meetings with Stoke without the Potters scoring. [LNB]• Stoke's last visit to Old Trafford ended in a 4-0 defeat on the final day of last season. The Red Devils also won this season's reverse fixture 2-1. [LNB][LNB] Have your say on this match Man Utd[LNB]• Sir Alex Ferguson's men have won 11 of their last 12 league fixtures at Old Trafford. [LNB]• They are unbeaten in 19 Premier League outings this season, and have lost just one of their 28 games in all competitions. [LNB]• Dimitar Berbatov has scored eight goals in his last four Premier League matches. [LNB]• Michael Carrick is hoping to make his 300th Premier League appearance. [LNB]Stoke City[LNB]• Stoke are unbeaten when scoring first this season - winning six times and drawing once. [LNB]• They are looking to win back-to-back Premier League away matches for the first time. [LNB]• Jonathan Walters is poised for his 250th club career start. [LNB][LNB] LEADING GOALSCORERS [LNB]Man Utd[LNB]Berbatov 15 goals (14 league); Hernandez 8 goals (5 league) [LNB][LNB]Stoke City[LNB]Jones: 7 goals (5 league); Huth: 4 goals (4 league); Walters: 4 goals (3 league) [LNB][LNB] MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Mark Clattenburg [LNB]Assistant referees: Scott Ledger & Glenn Turner [LNB]Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick [LNB][LNB] LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Man Utd (W2-1 v West Brom, a): Kuszczak, Neville (Fabio Da Silva 71), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Obertan (Gibson 60), Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Berbatov (Hernandez 60), Rooney. Subs not used: Amos, Owen, Evans, Bebe. [LNB]Stoke City (W2-0 v Everton, h): Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Collins, Pennant (Sanli 59), Whitehead, Delap, Etherington (Whelan 79), Fuller (Walters 84), Jones. Subs not used: Sorensen, Gudjohnsen, Wilson, Faye.

Source: BBC_Sport