Man United v Stoke City – Old Trafford at 12:00 live on BT Sport One
We’re entering the final week of the Premier League before the international break, and here we have a humdinger as Manchester United host Stoke City. A match I am looking to collect some profit from in this Asian Handicap betting preview.
[expand title=”Read More…” swaptitle=”Hide” trigpos=”below” rel=”star-highlander” ]
Well, I can honestly say I was nearly asleep in United’s last game. I don’t have to remind you, do I? Their 1-0 win against Zorya at Old Trafford saw them climb up to third in group A of the Europa League, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a messy goal.
But overall, this season has been a drab affair for Jose Mourinho and co. They haven’t really got going since their defeat to Manchester City, but three recent wins on the bounce may be what is needed at this time. You can sense the fans are getting restless.
Yet, that’s not all they are talking about. The whole situation with Wayne Rooney not starting has been strategically analysed by punters around, and from recent performances there seems to be a freedom among players. Paul Pogba pushes higher up the pitch, leaving Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini to sit back and hold.
Is this the answer? Only time will tell. One issue for the weekend will be whether Luke Shaw will feature. He has been suffering from an illness, but apart from him there looks to be no massive worries for Mourinho and co.
It’s more than likely the Manchester club will field a 4-2-3-1 at home on Sunday, Ibrahimovic leading the line having already scored four goals this season. It’s the three behind him that changes every week, and it’s about time Mourinho found some consistency in his players.
Stoke City, on the other hand are having a Deja vu moment from last season as they sit bottom of the table, having not won a game yet in the league. Their start this campaign is very similar to last year, but you would think Mark Hughes would have sorted this by now.
The Potters last match finished in a 1-1 draw against West Brom at home. The hosts conceding in the 90th minute after dominating most of the game.
Yet there is a confidence within the manager having come out before the game and stated that United do not have a title-winning mentality to take them to the top. Strong words from a club sitting at the foot of the table.
However the thing is that if you look at their squad they have some quality players, yet a majority are flair products. They’re not going to make a difference at the bottom of the table, yet in the big games they usually turn up and grab the headlines. I’m throwing the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri into this category.
Another issue I see within Stoke is the business they conducted during the transfer window. This season they signed six players, the season before that nine and before that eight. The problem I see is that players are not getting enough time to settle in and all these new faces joining the club are being pushed straight into the starting eleven and are expected to perform. It just doesn’t work like that in the modern game.
Difficult one. What I saw of United on Thursday night was not impressive, but then again Stoke City haven’t exactly been a side who are keen to outscore opponents considering they have not scored more than one goal in a Premier League match so far this campaign.
On top of this United have never lost to Stoke City at home, but from their last five meetings Stoke have won twice both at the Bet365 Stadium.
I’m backing Stoke City +1.5 for this one. Reasons? There is a time to turn up and I think Stoke might just put on a display this weekend. If not, I cannot see United winning by more than one goal based on their recent form.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Stoke City +1.5 at 1.96 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.