If you think it’s been difficult being a Manchester United fan over the last few months, it must’ve been even harder supporting Stoke City. Having spent much and produced little, an embarrassing defeat to Coventry City in the FA Cup finally did for the Premier League’s resident miser Mark Hughes, sacked with his club deep in a relegation struggle. They’re still managerless ahead of Monday’s trip to Old Trafford, though Martin O’Neill and Quique Sánchez Flores have both been linked with the gig.
Update: Since the time of publication, they’ve hired Paul Lambert. When it rains, etc ...
Life for United’s players, on the other hand, must’ve been pretty good over the last few days. Decamping to Dubai for a warm weather training camp in the aftermath of the Premier League victory over Everton, José Mourinho’s men have been topping up their tans and — with any luck — ironing out the remaining flaws in their tactical blueprint. Let’s hope they get straight up to speed on Monday.
United will still be without Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimović and the suspended Ashley Young; Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick are both doubful. Stoke City’s only certain absentee is defender Bruno Martins Indi; Jesé, Erik Pieters, Glen Johnson and Ryan Shawcross all face late fitness tests.
Premier League schedule
We kick off at 20.00 in Manchester, which is 15.00 on the east coast of the USA and 12.00 AM over on the west.
Premier League TV channel
In the UK, you can catch the action on Sky Sports Premier League; those in the States can tune in to either NBCSN or Universo, depending on their linguistic preference. A click on LiveSoccerTV will sort out the rest of you.
Premier League streaming
BT Sport’s live streaming service in the UK; NBC Sports Live and Universo Now in the USA.
We’ll take a guess at David de Gea; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matić, Paul Pogba; Juan Mata, Lionel Mes ... erm, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial; Romelu Lukaku.
Update: That’s why we’re paid the big bucks.
Here is how the Reds line up for #MUNSTK... pic.twitter.com/otGid7EQkS— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018
This will also be our live thread for the game, so do join us in the comments below.