Wayne Rooney scored in the 4-2 victory over Stoke City last season.
An old hero returns today as Manchester United take on Stoke City in the Premier League in what is a must win game for the home side. Mark Hughes, who made more competitive appearances for United than Bryan Robson and Jack Rowley, will be hoping that this is the fixture that Stoke City beat Manchester United at Old Trafford as the last time was a 1-0 victory way back in April 1976.
Stoke lie in 16th place at present and will be hoping to move away from the relegation zone, with Norwich only a point behind them. The visitors are confident that Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron will be available, whilst for United; both Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck are out injured. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic could return, despite the promising partnership of Jones and Evans midweek against Real Sociedad.
We have a great view from the opposition from Lloyd Reddin, who is the editor of Stoke’s Vital Football account. Here we discuss Sir Stanley Matthews, Sparky and Ashley Young would slot well into Stoke’s lineup!
1) Were you sad to see the back of Tony Pulis and was the long ball tag fair? Can you see him returning with the Palace job?
Yes, but it was the time for TP to go. He had taken the club as far as he could, and i and every other Stoke fan will be forever grateful for what he did for the club and city as a whole. He left us in such a healthy position, with a new training ground and an established training ground. The long ball tag didn’t really bothered me because it was effective and got us points, we played more football than we were given credit for and did mix it up a lot but towards the end when it was being found out, it did start to erk me.
2) How have you found Mark Hughes and has he made any significant changes so far?
I think Hughes has held himself extremely professionally. There’s the odd time when he opens his mouth and you think why you’ve said that but I guess you get that with every manager (As you sure well know) He has made significant changes in our playing style, we pass a lot more and try to control possession, but hasn’t managed to change our luck in front of goal just quite yet.
3) Where do you expect to finish this season?
During pre-season I was hoping for a top half finish but I was being extremely naive then. I will settle to stay in the division in the hope of building for next season. This season will be a transitional season, which I hope doesn’t cost us our Premier League status.
4) Who has been your best and worst performer so far? Also, have you any decent youngsters coming through?
Our best performer has to be the man between the sticks; Asmir Begovic. He kept us up last year and he’s kept us in many a game so far this season. He is phenomenal. I can’t see him being at lowly Stoke for much longer.
Our worst performer has to be Jon Walters. He puts a lot of effort in but he does the square root of nothing. He’s been found out, and it’s time he is dropped. 96 odd consecutive starts is somewhat embarrassing for a player with no real quality.
We have a few players coming through, but I wouldn’t say anyone world class. Striker Alaba looks like he can handle himself and is in the mould of Drogba, hopefully he can develop and we’ll have a real good player on our hands.
5) What have you made of United so far this season and is David Moyes the man for the job?
I’ve been shocked. I know you’re historically slow starters, but I didn’t think you’d struggle as much as you have. I still tipped you for the title but when you take a step back, you see Fergie got out at the right time as this current squad was in need of a clearout and re-build as Fergie has done so many times before.
I still think Moyesy is the man for the job BUT he needs a bit of training how to handle to press and he needs to realise he’s in charge of the ‘mighty united’now and not lowly Everton when he plays the bigger clubs.
6) United have had a great record at yours, what do you expect the score to be on Saturday? Fancy your chances?
This is the best chance of a Stoke win against United in years but I still can’t see it happening. If we’re extremely lucky, we’ll nick a draw but I think it’ll be 2-0 United.
7) How will Stoke line up against United?
We have a few niggles in our squad but if Cameron and Shawx pass late test we should line up like:
Cameron Huth Shawx Pieters
Arnautovic Nzonzi Ireland Wilson Assaidi
8) If you could take one united player to slot in at Stoke, who would it be and why?
We need a striker desperately, so if we could borrow Hernandez off you then we would be forever grateful. More realistically, a fringe player like Ashley Young would be an ideal addition as we lack genuine pace.
9) What is your greatest United/Stoke memory?
I’m of the certain era where Stoke have had no real success over United. I was three when we beat you in the Cup when Steino bagged a double. The only real memory I have is when we beat you at the Brit 3-1 in friendly when Marc Goodfellow volleyed past Barthez from the half way line.
10) Sir Stanley Matthews was one of the best players to have ever played the game in England. Can you give us a fact that we may not know about the great man?
It really isn’t a fact that many people won’t know, but I think it’s the best one about the great man. Sir Stan played into his 50s at the highest level. How the modern game has evolved that will never happen again unless your flying Welshman has another 10 years in him.