Manchester United vs Stoke City, Preview: Will The Potters Go To Pieces At Old Trafford?

Alex Livesey

Will Michael Owen return to haunt Sir Alex Ferguson’s men and bag a debut goal for his new club? Will he even get on the pitch?

The Red Devils will need to be at their best when a stubborn Stoke side visit Old Trafford.

After getting their title challenge back on track with victory at Newcastle, Sir Alex Ferguson will be hopeful another victory can cut Chelsea's lead at the top -given the Londoners face a tricky derby tie at Tottenham.

Stoke haven't won at the Theatre of Dreams since 1972, with United winning all but one of the eight meetings between the two clubs, since Stoke's return to the Premier League. However, Stoke have only lost once so far this season, going down 1-0 at Chelsea.

The Potters have taken points off Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal and report a near clean bill of health. Yes, a fully-fit Michael Owen is raring to go and make his first start for his new club. If Owen misses out, then Jonathan Walters should get the nod to partner Peter Crouch up front.

United have gone behind in five of their first seven league games and out of those have lost two. The frailties at the back were plugged against Newcastle, so the back four should pick itself. Ashley Young, missing since the opening day with a knee injury, returns to the squad.

For once, the international break hasn't hindered United. Jonny Evans, Nani, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley all played in midweek and have returned in one piece.

Stoke's American pair Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu look likely to start from the bench after a long flight back from the States. Andy Wilkinson is available after completing a three game ban.

Manchester United injuries and suspensions

Out: Phil Jones, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling (injured)

Stoke City injuries and suspensions

Doubtful: Glenn Whelan (hamstring)

Match Date/Time: Saturday 20th October 3:00 p.m. local, 10:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England

TV: Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer Channel (U.S), Sportsnet Ontario/East/West/Pacific (Canada), Setanta Sports (Ireland)

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