How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Manchester United 3/10, Draw 5/1, Stoke City 10/1 - Betfred
- First Goalscorer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 3/1, Marcus Rashford 4/1, Wayne Rooney 9/2, Anthony Martial 5/1 - Coral
- Correct Score: Man Utd 2-0 6/1, Man Utd 1-0 7/1, Man Utd 3-0 15/2 - BetVictor
- Manchester United have had an up-and-down start to the Premier League season under Jose Mourinho. They began with three consecutive wins before suffering defeats against Manchester City and Watford to slip off the pace. However, they bounced back to produce their best performance of the season in a 4-1 victory over Leicester.
- Stoke are without a win in their opening six league matches of the season and their poor form stretches back to the latter part of the 2015/16 campaign, when they faded badly towards the end. They have collected just two points so far, although there were small signs of encouragement in a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion last time out.
While it is no surprise to see Manchester United as favourites considering the respective form of the two teams, many bettors will be disappointed to see just how short the odds are on a home victory. Stoke have made an unfortunate habit of starting slowly, but they have too much talent in their squad to languish in the bottom three for much longer and, with Xherdan Shaqiri back from injury, they should pose some problems for a United side that has had to contend with an extra fixture this week in the Europa League.
However, while there is some cause for optimism for Stoke, there are also plenty of reasons to be fearful. They have been defensively fragile for months now in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Jack Butland, conceding 15 times in six matches this season, and the last thing they need now is to come up against a United side which demonstrated a sharp cutting edge to slice through Leicester’s back line last week.
Jose Mourinho finally seems to have got the message that Marcus Rashford is too good to leave out, and the young England forward seems a good price at 5/1 with Paddy Power to be the first goalscorer. Paul Pogba, who finally looked a bit more like a world-record signing against Leicester rather than a spectator that had just been plucked out of the crowd, is also tempting at 23/10 with 888Sport to score anytime. The best option, though, may be to take the view that United will win the match but both teams will score, and that could offer a very decent return.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Manchester United to win and both teams to score - 23/10 at 888Sport
*Please note, odds may fluctuate in the lead-up to the match.