Form guide: Prior to the international break, Manchester United recorded an impressive 3-0 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park thanks to goals from Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra and Tom Cleverley. Three points in the North East was a welcome tonic for the Reds, after slipping to a surprise defeat to Tottenham a week earlier. Saturday’s visitors Stoke City are yet to earn a single Premier League point from four previous trips to Old Trafford. The Potters are on a decent run of form, though, losing just one of their last six domestic outings. However, that run only includes one win over Swansea.
Last meeting: The Potters paid the penalty at the Theatre of Dreams as an injury hit United recorded a comfortable 2-0 win, with both Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov converting from the spot. Having exited the FA Cup a week earlier, and with important league matches against Chelsea and Liverpool coming up, this was a crucial win for the Reds.
Ins and outs: Although normally the scourge of domestic managers due to the risk of injury, United were blessed by a healthy international break with every player reporting back to Carrington in full health. Sir Alex Ferguson is also boosted by the return of Ashley Young, although the Stoke clash comes too soon for Chris Smalling. Stoke hope to recall Michael Owen, who missed their recent defeat to Liverpool through injury. The former Reds striker is “desperate” to face his former club after joining the Potters in the summer.
Opposition boss: Tony Pulis is arguably one of the most underrated managers in the Premier League, having kept Stoke in the top flight for four consecutive seasons following their