LAST SEASON'S Premier League Champions certainly arrive in the Potteries at the weekend in a far more buoyant mood than two weeks ago and will be gunning to maintain their unbeaten record against City in the Premier League.
The Potters have only managed to secure a solitary point against the Red Devils in 11 games since returning to the top-flight, courtesy of Peter Crouch’s equaliser just weeks after his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2011 for a club record fee.
The task of the Potters getting a positive result against David Moyes’ men will undoubtedly be made more difficult on Saturday after the Scotsman welcomed back his two main marksmen Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie for United’s midweek 2-0 win over Cardiff City, with the latter regaining his goalscoring touch within six minutes of his return to action after a lengthy lay-off.
The Old Trafford outfit meanwhile have added to their attacking ranks over the past week with the multi-million pound arrival of Juan Mata from fellow title-challengers Chelsea.
The Spanish international made his debut for the Red Devils on Tuesday evening as is set to make his first start away from home at the Britannia Stadium after seamlessly fitting into the Red Devils team.
United however will be without the services of captain and Nemanja Vidic as the Serbian international serves the final game of his three match suspension, whilst Mark Hughes will also be forced into changing his pack after Steven Nzonzi was sent off for two bookable offences during the 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening.
The former United striker however may hand a home debut to both Manchester City striker John Guidetti whilst new signing Peter Odemwingie may make his bow in front of City supporters in a red and white shirt after he completed ninety minutes against the Black Cats.
Saturday’s fixture will be the third time the two sides have faced each other this season with the Old Trafford outfit coming out on top in the previous encounters in both the Premier League and Capital One Cup.
The Potters were well on course to claim all three points on their top-flight visit to Manchester in October after Peter Crouch and Marko Arnautovic had scored either side of van Persie’s first half effort but two late goals from Rooney and Javier Hernandez stole the win away from the City.
Meanwhile, the most recent meeting came at the Britannia Stadium in the League Cup quarter-finals as the visitors secured passage through to the final four with second half strikes from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra after a first half hail storm forced the tie to be suspended for 10 minutes.
League - Stoke Wins 20 Draws 25 Manchester United Wins 36
FA Cup - Stoke Wins 3 Draws 5 Manchester United Wins 3
League Cup - Stoke Wins 2 Draws 2 Manchester United Wins 2
Test Match Play-Off - Stoke Wins 1 Draws 0 Manchester United Wins 0
Total - Stoke Wins 28 Draws 21 Chelsea Wins 41
- Second half goals from England winger Ashley Young and French left back Patrice Evra were enough for Manchester United to win on their previous visit to the Britannia Stadium in a League Cup Quarter-Final in December.
- City were denied a Premier League victory at Old Trafford earlier in the season as Van Persie and Wayne Rooney cancelled out Peter Crouch and Marko Arnautovic’s first half striker before Javier Hernandez pounced in the final 10 minutes.
- Stoke’s league win over the Red Devils (then Newton Heath) is a 7-1 on 7 January 1893 in front of just 1,000 supporters at the Victoria Ground. Billy Dickson scored a hat-trick for the Potters.
- The Potters put the final nail was driven into Manchester United’s relegation coffin when they beat the Red Devils 1-0 in the last game of the 1973-74 season. John Ritchie scored the all-important goal in front of 27,392 at home.
- Stoke were beaten by United in a second-round League Cup tie in the 1993-94 season. It was 2-1 to the Potters at the Victoria Ground (Marc Stein scoring a memorable double), but in front of 41,387 at Old Trafford, the Red Devils won 2-0 to edge through 3-2 on aggregate.
Stoke City Win – 6/1
Manchester United Win – 4/7
Draw – 3/1
First Goalscorer – Robin van Persie 10/3, Wayne Rooney 4/1, Juan Mata 13/2, Peter Crouch 9/1, Peter Odemwingie 10/1, Mark Arnautovic 12/1
Live audio commentary is available as always from Nigel Johnson and the boys to Stoke City Player
Interactive updates will also be available for free throughout the afternoon via stokecityfc.com on The Wall
, and we'll be tweeting about the action from Britannia Stadium on our @stokecity