After almost ten days off, Manchester United returns to play this Monday, January 15. At Old Tradfford Stadium, you will receive Stoke. The meeting, scheduled to start at 18h (Brasília time), closes the schedule of the twenty-second round of the English Premier League season 2017/2018.
The recent performance of Manchester United
After beating Derby 2-0 on Friday, Jan. 5, United earned a slack, though unwanted. It was caused by the elimination of the club in the quarter-finals of the League Cup of England against Bristol, the Second Division. So he was relieved to play the semifinals in the middle of last week.
Although it is possible to try to see the situation based on the theory of the half-full glass, as it will allow the team to have more free dates to improve their performance with training, this does not excite their fans. After all, with the gigantic advantage opened by Manchester City leading the Premier League, what remains of the reds is to focus on trying to win the cups.
In the Premier League, the only viable goal is the runners-up, which would also guarantee a direct place in the group stage of the next edition of the Champions League of Europe. The team completed the twenty-second round in that position. He accumulated 47 points (14 wins, five draws and three losses).
After complaining to the leaders about the lack of money to hire, coach Jose Mourinho was given a green light to go to the market. After failing to close with Frenchman Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid, he set out to find Arsenal’s Chilean Alexis Sanchez.
Sanchez will have his contract terminated with the club for the season finale. According to the English press reports, he has agreed to wear the shirt of Manchester City, United’s biggest rival. The blues even try to anticipate the transfer offering a compensation to Arsenal so that the athlete is released still in January. The Reds went through the negotiation and made a superior proposal, including accepting to give up midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (15 games in the 2017/2018 English Championship, one goal).
While the reinforcements do not arrive, Mourinho will have to turn around with what he has in his hands. For the start of this Monday must count on the full-time return of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (21 games, ten goals). The athlete suffered a concussion in the head that took him from a match and made him participate only 45 minutes of the encounter with Derby.
The current form of Stoke
Accustomed to spending the last seasons of the English Championship comfortably accommodated in the middle of the table of the classification, the Stoke saw his standard to be downgraded in edition 2017/2018 of the Premier League. After 22 rounds, he is in the relegation zone. He started his twenty-third day in eighteenth place with 20 points (five wins, five draws and 12 losses).
This is not an irreversible situation. However, the recent campaign is bleak. In the last three matches of the English Premier League the team has added just one point in nine disputed. He was also eliminated from the FA Cup by losing 2-1 to Coventry in the fourth division.
Away from home, Stoke’s Premier League campaign is even more disastrous. The team is the worst visitor of the competition. He won only six points (one win, three draws and seven losses) of the 33 played.
To further complicate the situation of coach Mark Hughes, the defensive sector has been shaken by bruises. They are in the infirmary Glen Johnson (three matches in English Championship 2017/2018, no goal), Bruno Martins (eight games, no goal), Erik Pieters (19 games, no goal) and Ryan Shawcross (15 games one goal). The list is extended by striker Jessé (nine games, one goal).
History of the matches Manchester United vs Stoke
The draw was the result of the last three matches between United and Stoke. In the first round of the current season of the English Championship, equality was 2 to 2. The previous two games were in the 1 to 1.
The duel does not open the door to risk guesses. United is the best guessing option with a 1.20 rating on Rivalo. Draw pays 6.50 and successful visitor yields 13.00 for 1.