Stoke City vs Manchester United 12/26/2015 Premier League Preview, Odds & Predictions
Manchester United vs Stoke City
Saturday 26th December 2015
The Line: Stoke City 9/4 Draw 11/5 Manchester United 13/10 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports; NBC Sports; Westwood Sports
On Boxing Day/St Stephens Day depending on where your from Manchester United will travel to the Britannia to take on Stoke City in what should be an absorbing post Christmas fixture. After the sacking of Jose Mourhino the pressure is firmly on Louis Van Gaal as his side succumbed to Norwich last weekend and are just not getting any breaks. United were terrible in front of goal against Norwich, Wayne Rooney returned to the line up but Manchester United's struggles in front of goal continued. Van Gaal needs to find a balance between owning possession and breaking teams down. Part of the reason United are struggling is that their tactics of possession football do not necessarily allow for the pace of their attack. Martial, Depay and Rooney are no slouches and can all get in behind defences but the final pass is delayed the focus of maintaining possession has led to an inability to find that killer final pass. Van Gaal should switch it up play a 4-4-2 and try to use Martial and Depay to get in behind, allow Mata and Herrerra to follow Leicester's lead by using their playmakers in that role throught the middle or from the left wing.
Stoke City have been excellent for most of this season they came undone last week against Crystal Palace in a game that they easily could have won but Palace are a fine side and last week's game was a cracker to watch. For me Mark Hughes side have been one of the most entertaining teams in the Premier League to watch this season. I have been really impressed with Affellay, Arnautovic, the brilliant Bojan and Shaqiri in recent weeks. I think that the Potters will come out here and try to blitz United much the way they did against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago. With Stoke at full fitness and United really struggling at the back I am confused by this line.
There is no way in my opinion that Stoke should be 9/4 at home to this Manchester United team with the injuries that United currently have, United will be missing Darmian, Schweinsteiger, Lindgaard, Rojo and Shaw. For me Stoke have to be taken as the value bet here, having won at home to Chelsea, Manchester City this is a confident Stoke team and although Manchester United may get a reaction from their players after last week's loss to Norwich I think there is more chance that Stoke inflict another would possibly fatal to Van Gaal's reign as United manager.