After losing consecutive Premier League games against relegation rivals, Stoke City enter Saturday’s home encounter with Manchester United knowing that they must avoid defeat.
By kick-off, the Potters could be even deeper in the mire, as West Ham United and Sunderland both play before Mark Hughes’ side. It was at Sunderland where Stoke lost their previous game, going down 1-0 despite a valiant effort with only 10 men. Back at home, they will feel that they have a chance of taking points off the reigning Premier League champions.
There was double delight for Man Utd on Tuesday, as Robin van Persie scored on his return from injury as he played alongside Juan Mata for the first time in what was a welcome win over lowly Cardiff City. It could be a turning point in their season, but as it stands, they are still outsiders to make the top four, with a six point gap to Liverpool still to bridge.
Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi serves a one-match ban after his sending off at the Stadium of Light, but defender Robert Huth could make the bench following knee surgery.
Wayne Rooney could return to the Man Utd starting line-up to join Mata and van Persie, but Nani and Nemanja Vidic are both unavailable.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Stoke