FOOTBALL NEWS

12/04/2013 08:55, Report by M Froggatt & M Singh
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Preview: Stoke v United

Did you know? United, while still named Newton Heath, lost 7-1 in the first ever meeting with Stoke in 1893. Since then, the two teams have contested 96 games, of which the Reds have won 38 and drawn 32, scoring an impressive 145 goals in the process.

Opposition boss: Despite being in the midst of a relegation dogfight, Potters manager Tony Pulis is relishing this weekend’s clash with United at the Britannia – although he is wary of a reaction from Sir Alex’s men. “It's a game that we are looking forward to,” the Welshman says. “This is why you want to be in the Premier League. We have given them good games here before. They have just lost against City and I'm sure Fergie will have been at them this week. It will be incredibly tough for us.”

Star man: Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has excelled all season and has reportedly caught the attention of several top clubs, including Fulham and London neighbours Arsenal. The Bosnian looks set to move this summer after young prospect Jack Butland signed for the Potters in January. In the meantime, the towering stopper must help his club avoid relegation to the Championship. 
 
Quote/unquote: “We are still 12 points clear and now we have to win the next game. Since I've been here I've never lost two games in a row. That's why I hope we'll keep going against Stoke and win. We just have to win the next game.” – Patrice Evra

Sub-plots: The numbers are simpleL: United need 10 points from the seven remaining fixtures to win the title and the Reds are no doubt determined to claim three of those on Sunday. Victory would also see Sir Alex’s men temporarily reclaim a 15-point lead over City, who are in FA Cup action.

Whistle blower: Yorkshire-based referee Jon Moss will take charge of this fixture. So far this season, he has dished out

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