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Mourinho to Rest Star Player against Stoke?

Has Jose Mourinho already given a big hint about his team selection for Stoke City at the weekend?

Stoke are well known for their physicality and United fans have spent the international break discussing whether the side that has done so well so far this season is the right one to go and get three points at Stoke? Specifically are Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan the right sort of players for a battle at Stoke?

With that in mind many United fans feel this is the ideal game to go with a three in midfield. Matic and Pogba are sure starters and paired with either Ander Herrera or Marouane Fellaini, United’s midfield suddenly looks far stronger and able to deal with anything Stoke want to throw at them. Couple this preference with Jose Mourinho’s comments about Mkhitaryan needing to prove himself against the top sides despite his great start to the season and is Mkhitaryan likely to be the fall guy at Stoke?

Whether it’s Mata or Mkhitaryan that drops out it only goes to prove the current strength in depth Mourinho possesses at United. Rashford and Martial vying for one spot on the left and with a midfield three Jose would have Mkhitaryan, Mata and Lingard competing for the spot on the right.

However United approach this game and whatever lineup Mourinho goes for, United will be strong favourites and if they come away with three points on Saturday evening there won’t be many United fans complaining about the formation or who started. It’s a long season ahead and Jose will be fully prepared to utilise his whole squad.

Stoke City 2-0 Man United | Match report

Man United suffer their fourth consecutive defeat as they slump to a 2-0 loss away at Stoke City.

It was all Stoke in the first half as they dominated possession and played with intent, continuously playing the ball into the forwards and putting Man United on the back foot.

Stoke’s Bojan opened the scoring in the 19th minute after a poor back pass from Memphis fell to Glen Johnson. The former Liverpool right back pulled a cross back to Bojan near the penalty spot who slotted the ball past David de Gea.

The Potters doubled their lead just 7 minutes later. A Bojan free kick was deflected by the Man United wall and the loose ball fell to Arnautovic who drilled the ball into the United goal from outside the box.

In the 36th minute, Arnautovic had a golden chance to put Stoke 3-0 up when he found himself one-on-one with David de Gea but he dragged his shot just wide of the post.

The half time break saw the introduction of Man United’s Wayne Rooney. The substitution seemed to lift United and give them a little more bite but they could only manage one real goal scoring opportunity.

In the 64th minute, Fellaini had a chance to pull a goal back for the visitors. From the right hand side of the Stoke box, Wayne Rooney hit a ball across the 6 yard box which fell to the Belgian’s feet. With only the keeper to beat, his first time shot was too weak and Jack Butland was able to get down and gather the ball easily.

United manager Louis van Gaal cannot watch as his team are beaten 2-0 by Stoke (Source: The Guardian)
United manager Louis van Gaal cannot watch as his team are beaten 2-0 by Stoke (Source: The Guardian)

Man United are now without a win in 5 Premier League games and the loss against Stoke means that the red devils slip down to 6th in the league. They could end the day in 7th if Watford win away at Chelsea this afternoon.

Man United slip to 6th in the Premier League (Source: BBC Football)
Man United slip to 6th in the Premier League (Source: BBC Football)

What did you think about the game? Did the players give all they had to relieve the pressure on Louis van Gaal? Were Stoke simply too good? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments sections below.

You can also watch the Man United V West Ham match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Stoke City Team Sheet

01 Butland
08 Johnson
17 Shawcross
26 Wollscheid
03 Pieters
20 Cameron (Adam – 75′)
06 Whelan (Van Ginkel – 45′)
22 Shaqiri (Diouf – 65′)
14 Afellay
10 Arnautovic
27 Krkic

Substitutes

11 Joselu
12 Wilson
15 Van Ginkel
16 Adam
18 Diouf
19 Walters
29 Haugaard

Man United Team Sheet

01 de Gea
18 Young
04 Jones
12 Smalling
17 Blind
16 Carrick
21 Herrera (Pereira – 82′)
08 Mata
27 Fellaini
07 Depay (Rooney – 45′)
09 Martial

Substitutes

10 Rooney
20 Romero
28 Schneiderlin
30 Varela
33 McNair
43 Borthwick-Jackson
44 Pereira