Manchester United's start has been as close to perfect as even the ficklest Red Devils fan could wish for. Three wins from three; ten goals scored; none conceded. Most impressively of all, Jose Mourinho has seemed jovial of late. The rest of the Premier League has been sent an ominous warning.
Previously struggling players seem to have found themselves, too. Phil Jones, so recently a forgotten man at United, has established himself in central defence alongside Eric Bailly. Paul Pogba, uncertain of his precise role in midfield last term, has been liberated by the arrival of Nemanja Matic. Even Anthony Martial has found his scoring touch after a peripheral season in 2016/17.
Stoke’s start, meanwhile, has been of the solid-yet-unspectacular variety. Their win against Arsenal was tight but fortitudinous, with new loan signing Jese Rodriguez scoring the winner on his Potters debut. They narrowly lost to Everton, and eked out a draw against former boss Tony Pulis’s West Brom.
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Here's everything you need to know about the Premier League clash.
What time does it start?
Stoke vs Manchester United kicks off at 17:30 on Saturday 9th September.
Where can I watch it?
The match will be shown live on BT Sport from 17:00. Highlights will be shown at 22:30 on BBC One.
It’s a big game for…
England’s youngest-ever goalkeeper will need to play to his absolute maximum if Stoke are to gain anything from this one.
13: After their promotion to the Premier League in 2008, it took Stoke thirteen matches – spread over six years – to beat Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney became Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer with this superb free-kick.
Player to watch…
Marcus Rashford: The youngster has not always featured heavily under Mourinho, but the Portuguese has put greater faith in Rashford this term.
His current form is excellent, typified by a dazzling winner for England on Monday night.
Past three meetings…
Stoke 1 (Mata (o.g.)) Manchester United 1 (Rooney), Premier League, January 2017
Manchester United 1 (Martial) Stoke 1 (Allen), Premier League, October 2016
Manchester United 3 (Lingard, Martial, Rooney) Stoke 0, Premier League, March 2016
Manchester United: WWLWWW
Stoke to win: 13/2
Manchester United to win: 17/35
(Odds provided by 888 Sport)
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Stoke City vs Manchester United!
Team news to follow...
Stoke XI: Butland; Cameron, Zouma, Wimmer; Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters; Shaqiri, Jese; Choupo-Moting
Subs: Grant; Berahino, Tymon, Martins Indi, Adam, Crouch, Ramadan
Man United XI: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Darmian; Matic, Pogba, Herrera; Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Rashford
Subs: Romero, Blind, Smalling, Carrick, Mata, Martial, Lingard
Looking uncharacteristically scruffy, Jose.
What has Stoke boss Mark Hughes been saying this week?
"Of all the teams they (Manchester United) are clearly at the top of the pile.
"Their performances and the way they've gone about their business has been impressive.
"We had a similar situation last year with Man City, who were not able to sustain it.
"But the make-up of the Man United squad is very strong and they're playing in a way that their fans will take to and enjoy.
"Hopefully there are still things for us to exploit."
Quotes from BBC
Just over five minutes to go until kick-off at the bet365 Stadium. Will Manchester United maintain their 100% record or will Stoke throw a spanner in Jose's works?
Find out right here over the next couple of hours.
1' - Neil Swarbrick gets the match underway in Stoke!
1' - Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gets in behind the United defence in the opening minute of the match but Eric Bailly recovers the situation with his pace and puts the ball behind for a corner.
2' - Marcus Rashford gets in behind the Stoke defence but his pass to Romelu Lukaku doesn't have enough on it and the attack fizzles out.
3' - For the second time in three minutes United's defence is breached as Jese Rodriguez runs beyond Phil Jones before shooting wide from a tight angle.
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