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Time To Set Things Right

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Stoke City vs Manchester United

Gameweek 09 | Sunday,24 October 2010 | 13:30

With the Rooney situation dominating English football headlines all week, Manchester United go to Stoke City on Sunday and start as firm favourites to put the off field dramas to one side.



Despite starting the weekend 5 points behind leaders Chelsea (who are home to Wolves on Saturday), United are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League this season. With just 8 games played, that United have yet to to taste defeat is hardly a surprise but the fact they have drawn 5 of those 8 matches certainly is. United have relinquished a winning position in 3 of those games, sometimes in the most spectacular fashion. The latest mishap came at home to West Brom last weekend when United were 2-0 up and cruising after 25 minutes, yet still had to make do with just a single point. All 4 of United's away games in the league have finished all square; 3 of those matches were high scoring with the 0-0 draw at Sunderland being the exception to the rule.

Stoke have started well with 10 points from their first 8 games. Their 3 wins came at home to Villa (2-1) and Blackburn (1-0) and they also won away from home at Newcastle (2-1). Their home form is solid though they tend to struggle against the big guns despite always being competitive on home turf. Spurs have won 2-1 here this season and all of the top 4 finishers on the log took 3 points from their visits last season. Five of Stoke's 8 league games have seen 3 goals or more and the only game in which Stoke failed to score came in a 2-0 defeat away at Chelsea.

In the head to heads United dominate with 4 straight wins in the last 4 meetings since Stoke returned to the top flight. When Stoke go to Old Trafford they usually get walloped whilst in front of their own supporters they lost to United 2-0 last season and 1-0 the season before. Although the sides did not cross swords from the mid 80's to late 2008, you have to go back to 1984 for Stoke's last win (and last goal) against their opponents here.

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