Manchester United vs Stoke City 10/26/2013 Free English Premier League Soccer Pick and Preview
Manchester United (3-2-3) Stoke City (2-2-4)
Saturday 26th October 2013 (15:00GMT)
The Line: Manchester United 1/3 Draw 7/2 Stoke City 9/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: Setanta Sports; NBC Sports; direct tv
Manchester United have played four home games this term and have only won one game, that type of form is simply not good enough and it is something David Moyes will have to improve. Problems with finishing chances and puttting games away has led to United getting caught in the last ten minutes of several games this year. Robin Van Persie has not been firing on all cylinders but the form of Wayne Rooney has been encouraging for the red devils who while only 8th in the league table have played one of the toughest schedules of any team and who will now get a run of games between now and Christmas that should allow them to move back up the table. If United are not in the top three by new years day though the pressure will start mounting on David Moyes. With so much attacking talent in his squad with Rooney, RVP , Hernandez, Nani, Wellbeck and Zaha, Kagawa and Fellani its possible to see why United have not had a settled team to date and one which I think Moyes needs to address sooner rather than later. For my money Kagawa needs to start in midfield behind Rooney and RVP play him in front of a middle three of Carrick, Fellaini and Anderson and let Kagawa dictate things from there. United need that type of player and they now need results quickly.
Stoke City had lost three in a row in the league before their 0-0 draw with West Brom last weekend. Stoke will be looking to play a defensively sound game when they go to Old Trafford and given Mark Hughes previous history he will play a packed 4-5-1 formation and try to deny Manchester United any space in midfield. Stoke will work hard and will use their height and physicality at corners when they can. With Huth, Shawcross and Crouch they have lots of height and strength to use at set pieces and their counter attacking game is built around winning set pieces and exploiting those strengths.
There is not alot of value in the markets here, Manchester United are heavy favourites which on paper they should be but they really have not been playing all that well and they have not been convincing in games of late. United especially have had problems putting teams away but I think tomorrow could be the day that they start to turn things around. Stoke have been the worst first half team in the league this year drawing 4 and losing 4 at halftime and United at home having been leading in 2 of the four games they have played. I'm going to take Manchester United to be leading at halftime tomorrow at 8/11. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo