Stoke City vs Manchester United Preview: Potters host Premier League's early pace-setters

Stoke City face a tough clash in their first game back after the international break as they host Manchester United at the bet365 Stadium.

Stoke City vs Manchester United Preview: Potters host Premier League's early pace-setters
Source: Getty Images.

Manchester United make the trip to the bet365 stadium this Saturday afternoon to play Stoke City, looking to make it four wins from four Premier League games.

The Potters themselves will look to continue their good form after a home win against Arsenal and a draw away to West Bromwich Albion last time out.

The visitors, United, sit top of the league after three games with a perfect record having scored 10 goals and conceded none. 

Embed from Getty Images

Hughes looking to continue Stoke's good form

Stoke are looking like a hugely-improved side as a result of some smart summer business, as shown in their excellent win against Arsenal last month.

But they are now facing their biggest challenge yet, with José Mourinho's United having been the top-flight's best team so far this year.

Since their last game, Stoke have also managed to make one more signing before the end of the window. Centre-back Kevin Wimmer has joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur for £18 million. The Austrian is could make his debut this Saturday in the same three-at-the-back formation that Mark Hughes has been using so far.

Jesé Rodriguez has also made an impressive impact on the team, scoring the winner against Arsenal and creating a lot of chances against them. He is looking like the creative attacking player that Stoke needed so much after their disappointing 13th-placed finish last season.

However, Stoke have also overseen two departures. Playmaker Bojan and midfielder Giannelli Imbula will not feature after being loaned out to Deportivo Aláves and Toulouse respectively.

Embed from Getty Images

The road to the title has begun for United

United have had an amazing start to the 2017-18 season and have shown much-needed improvement from previous years under Mourinho, enjoying his famed second-season success.

Scoring 10 goals in those games and conceding none, says enough about the Red Devils' progress and with players like Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matić coming in this summer, some might say that United enjoyed the best business of any top-flight club.

Paul Pogba, David de Gea and Lukaku have returned from their international duties with some amazing performances.

Pogba was one of France's best players while Lukaku scored a hat-trick for Belgium and David De Gea made some excellent reflex saves against Italy, suggesting that United are well ready to continue their sublime start in the Potteries.

Previous meeting

The last time Stoke played United was at home in January and the clash proved to be an historic one.

United captain Wayne Rooney surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's record to become the club's all-time topscorer with a sensational 93rd-minute free-kick.

That earned United a deserved 1-1 draw after a cross from Erik Pieters was deflected in via De Gea's leg earlier in the afternoon.

Head-to-head

In all competitions, the two teams have met a total of 106 times, Stoke winning 28, drawing 35, and United winning 43.

In the Premier League they have played a total of 18 times with Stoke winning on only two occasions, both at home.

United have won 12 of those clashes with four ending in draws, most of which came at the bet365.