THE opening fixture of 2015 in the English Premier League pits Stoke against visitors Manchester United. What does Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) fancy?
Stoke v Man Utd | Thursday 12:45 | Sky Sports 1
In a quirk of the Premier League fixture computer, these sides meet for the second time in four weeks in the league. The last meeting saw Manchester United cling onto the three points after yet another spirited performance from David De Gea. There’s no doubt Louis Van Gaal’s side will have to work just as hard to claim the same reward this time round.
So far Stoke have had a superb festive season with six points out of nine accrued. A defeat to Chelsea three days before Christmas was followed up by a Boxing Day win over Everton and a 2-0 triumph over West Brom on Sunday.
Mark Hughes’ side are just six points off the Top 6 and you feel that if they cut out silly defeats against the lesser sides that could end up in that area.
Stoke beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United last season, and this campaign have downed Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton. That’s massively impressive!
The flip side of that though is their meek form against the bottom half sides. The Potters have lost to Leicester and Burnley and failed to beat Hull, Crystal Palace and QPR. A real missed opportunity for the Welshman’s side.
Consistency is something you can associate with Man Utd. The Old Trafford outfit are now unbeaten in nine matches, winning seven of those and a serious title challenge next season looks a real possibility.
Away from home though they’ve been less assured, with just two wins in nine, and I think that’s an area Stoke can exploit here. The two wins leading up to this game will have given them confidence and after just missing out on Old Trafford, I think they can pick up a draw here.
Stoke v Manchester United – Draw (13/5 BetVictor)
Bet365 In:Play Offer
Bet365 are offering their usual massive free bet offer on Stoke v Man United for this New Year’s Day match.
You will receive a free in-play bet (up to £50) when you place a bet on any pre-match market. If your in:play bet loses, Bet365 will refund your stake to the same value as your largest pre-match bet!
Terms and conditions:
- If you don’t have a Bet365 account then sign-up today and get a £200 welcome bonus.
- Place a bet on the Stoke v Man Utd match before kick-off (12:45), then once the game starts place another bet on any in-play market at Bet365.
- If your first in-play bet loses, Bet365 will refund this stake up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet (maximum free bet is £50).