Can Stoke end Man United's perfect start to the season? Picture - Reuters.

Champions Manchester United faces the tough trip to Stoke City on Saturday; a match many reckon will end United's perfect start to the season.

The Britannia Stadium has proved a stern fortress, even for the 'big' teams, and with the Potters adding quality to their team, it can only serve a higher chance of bettering their record of just one loss in sixteen home games.

However, they are facing the champions, who secured a 2-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, albeit in controversial circumstances. It was Javier Hernandez's 86th minute goal which settled the matter on that occasion, although many argue Gary Neville should have seen red.

United have been clinical this season, rolling to a perfect five wins from five the latest of which came against title-contenders Chelsea. However, it was their worst performance of the season to-date which only highlights the importance of their 3-1 win.

Stoke away is widely billed as the toughest away fixture in the Premier League. And for good measure, as can be vouched by Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. However, United hold the best record at Stoke, with three successive victories.

And with Champions League fixture coming up, Sir Alex Ferguson might look to restrict the involvement of some key players.

The match could make things interesting in the Premier League.

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Stoke will be without striker Kenwyne Jones who picked up an injury during the Carling Cup tie in midweek against Spurs.

Manchester United could have Rio Ferdinand back while Javier Hernandez could also feature having recovered from the bruised shin he sustained against Chelsea last week.


Man United were not their usual dominating self against Chelsea last week and better finishing from the Blues could have seen a different result. They'll also have one eye on the Champions League fixture in midweek and Stoke could grab a point.