The absence of Wayne Rooney in the mid-field did seem to have a effect on Saturday’s game with Leicester City. Paul Pogba found a lot of freedom to move up and down the flanks and he came really good for the first time since he joined United for a record signing of £89 million. Not only did he open his goal-scoring account on English soil, but he also fashioned two more goals in his club’s huge 4-1 win against the defending champions. Even someone like Jesse Lingard who was lackluster in the wings in previous matches, came to life. Ibrahimovic, Rashford and Mata assisted Pogba to put up United’s best performance this season. The defense consisting of Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Blind showed a lot of initiative upfront but were caught napping when Leicester counter-attacked and were fortunate not to have conceded a goal or two. Going into Sunday’s clash with Stoke City, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, all back from injuries, could further add to United’s strength.
Stoke City on the other hand have yet to win a match in their 2016-17 season which is why they find themselves almost at the bottom of the table. Although they conceded a goal to 10th placed West Brom in the dying minutes of a 1-1 draw on Saturday, they can take heart from a much improved performance. They hogged 56 per cent of the possession and players like Shaqiri, Joe Allen, Arnautovic and new acquisition Wilfred Bony seem to be getting back into their elements. With folks like Bojan Krkic and Peter Crouch in their ranks, Stoke can definitely do much better than their present 19th position on the EPL table. The first thing Mark Hughes men will have to do is leak lesser goals. They have let in as many as 15 so far this season and concentrate on their attacking strengths. The odds are heavily stacked in favor of Jose Mourinho’s men, for the last time Stoke had won a game at Old Trafford was way back in the 1975/76 season.
For United a win would mean an opportunity to somehow move into the top four. They are currently at the 6th spot and just a point behind Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton.
Odds are too short to back Man Utd, best option is anytime goalscorer. I would be suprised if Ibrahimovic doesn’t score.
Recommended tip, Ibrahimovic to score, best odds 10/11 @ BetfairSportsbook
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