FOOTBALL NEWS

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

Date, time and coverage: Sunday 14 April (kick-off 14:05 BST). The match will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports and you can follow it via ManUtd.com's exclusive text and radio commentaries at http://tracker.manutd.com.

Form guide: Manchester United’s 18-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League was ended when local rivals Manchester City triumphed at Old Trafford, a result that leaves the Reds 12 points clear at the top with just seven games to play. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side need just 10 points to secure the title and hope to grab three of those against Stoke City, who have only won two of 12 matches in 2013. As a result, the Potters are in 15th position and battling relegation.

Ins and outs: The boss expects Ashley Young to miss out after he limped out of Monday’s derby defeat with an ankle injury. However, the squad could be boosted by the return of defensive trio Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, while Paul Scholes might also make his long-awaited comeback from injury. The hosts will complete late fitness tests on Matthew Etherington and Mark Wilson, but Gary Whelan is not expected to feature.

Betting: Unsurprisingly, bwin have United as favourite at odds of 11/20 and Stoke at 21/4, with the draw priced at 11/4. If you’re looking for more value, why not back the Reds to turn on the style and beat the Potters 4-0 at generous odds of 22/1?

Last meeting: Wayne Rooney recovered from scoring an own goal to strike twice as United recorded a 4-2 win over Stoke at Old Trafford in October. Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck were also on the scoresheet, as well as Michael Kightly, during a topsy-turvy match that was in keeping with the Reds’ early-season performances.

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