Manchester United start this evening joint second, level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea following the weekend’s results.
Victory over Stoke City would not only give us a three-point lead in the race for second place but reduce the deficit to 12 points behind Manchester City.
Stoke today announced Paul Lambert as their new manager, replacing Mark Hughes. However, the former Aston Villa and Birmingham City manager will not be in charge this evening.
The two teams confirmed for this evening’s match are as follows:
David de Gea; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw; Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial; Romelu Lukaku
Substitutes: Joel Pereira, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford
Captain Antonio Valencia is fit again to return to the team and takes up his position at right-back. Phil Jones is also back in defence to partner Chris Smalling in the centre of our back four, whilst Luke Shaw continues at left-back as Ashley Young completes his three-match ban this evening.
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic is the central midfield partnership as we predicted earlier today. Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay are all named on the bench. In-form Jesse Lingard continues his role as the number 10 whilst Juan Mata is out on the right wing once more. Anthony Martial has recovered from his recent knock to take up his role down the left wing as Marcus Rashford is back among the substitutes.
There is no place in the squad for Henrikh Mkhitaryan despite three central midfielders taking their place up on the bench.
Jack Butland; Bauer, Kurt Zouma, Bruno Martins Indi, Josh Tymon; Darren Fletcher, Joe Allen; Xherdan Shaqiri, Stephen Ireland, Eric Maxim Choupo-Mouting; Peter Crouch
Substitutes: Lee Grant, Tom Edwards, Kevin Wimmer, Ibrahim Affelay, Charlie Adam, Mame Biram Diouf, Ramadan Sobhi
Youngster Josh Tymon starts at left-back whilst new signing Moritz Bauer is on the right of a back four for the visitors.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who scored a brace in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford earlier this season starts on the left of a 4-2-3-1 formation with the Cameroonian being the club’s joint top scorer with four Premier League goals this season. Peter Crouch starts up front.
Former-United midfielder Darren Fletcher captains the side alongside Joe Allen in front of the back four.