Manchester United’s expected starting XI against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.
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GK) David de Gea
The Spaniard looked shaky on crosses yet again last time out against Cardiff, but kept a clean sheet which will help his confidence after the League Cup blunder against Sunderland.
The Brazilian is 100% fit, and provides his side with energy up and down the right flank, while being defensively solid, too. He does need to keep a lid on his temper though, and Stoke will look to wind up the feisty fullback.
DC) Chris Smalling.
Smalling did well against Cardiff, but has been criticised in the past for his lack of strength. Against Stoke, he will have to deal with the physical and aerial threat of Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters.
DC) Jonny Evans
Nemanja Vidic is suspended, and Rio Ferdinand is injured, meaning the Northern Irishman will almost definitely start at the back, with Phil Jones likely to be in mdfield. He’s been United’s best defender this season, which isn’t saying a great deal…
DL) Patrice Evra
Evra’s deputy Alex Buttner has proven this season that he’s not United quality and Fabio has now joined Cardiff, so despite Evra’s average recent performances, he will start on the left of a back four.