By Sean Hayes

Manchester United welcome Stoke City to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon looking to keep up with the pace at the top of the Premier League and pile more misery on their opponents.

It is 40 years since they lost at home in this fixture and a win would lift them into the top four, while the Potters are bottom of the league table without a win so far this season.

After three defeats on the spin United look to have bounced back after picking up a 1-0 victory over Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday, following their 4-1 rout over Leicester City in the Premier League the previous weekend.

Wayne Rooney impressed off the bench in midweek, however Jose Mourinho could be tempted to leave the club’s captain out of the starting XI as they brushed the champions aside with relative ease without him.

The 30-year-old has scored four times and assisted two goals in his last three home games against Stoke, but the Red Devils have won five of the last seven league games he hasn’t started.

Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return, but a knee problem keeps Phil Jones out.

For the visitors Joe Allen is a doubt having not trained all week due to a tight hamstring and Jack Butland remains sidelined, however they could be boosted by the return of Jon Walters from an ankle injury.

Mark Hughes will be feeling the pressure after a poor start, especially following last week’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion, although a win in Manchester could buy him some time.

With just one win in their last 13 games in the top flight and 15 goals conceded already in just six games though, the odds aren’t in Stoke’s favour.

Potential Manchester United Starting XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Pogba; Martial, Mata, Rashford; Ibrahimovic

Potential Stoke City Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Grant; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Whelan, Cameron; Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic; Bony

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