The final game of today’s busy Premier League programme takes us to the Bet365 Stadium as Stoke play host to Manchester United and Mark Hughes men will be looking to claim another early season scalp after already getting the better of Arsenal three weeks ago.
That win was much welcomed by Stoke boss Hughes as there were already questions as to his future with the club after an opening day defeat at Everton. A change of shape for the visit of Arsenal seemed to do wonders as they like many of their top flight counterparts have switched to a back three.
One that could see signing Kevin Wimmer make his debut this evening after his signing from Tottenham in the final week of the transfer window. The Austrian defender was a solid enough backup in his first season at the club when Jan Vertonghen was injured but unfortunately the same could not be said in the previous campaign.
It looked as if his days were numbered after a difficult 45 minutes away at Manchester City in which his part in a defensive trio was an ill advised decision by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and one that saw him hooked off at half time.
With Davinson Sanchez now a part of Tottenham’s defensive ranks the chances of him making the first team where even more numbered and it comes as no surprise that he has looked for pastures new and now he has swapped London for Stoke.
Another man who has swapped a sprawling metropolis for not so sunnier climates is that of Jese after his loan signing from PSG. The former Real Madrid man endeared himself to his new fanbase in the perfect way as he scored the winner on his debut against Arsenal and he will look to cause the same kind of problems against United and former boss Jose Mourinho.
The question is though whether or not anyone can get close to Manchester United right now, the record pretty much says it all. Played 3, Won 3, Scored 10, Conceded 0. They perhaps have not had the most difficult of tests but they have certainly brushed aside anything that has been put before them.
Not only that but it is the fact that they are scoring so many goals late on which will be a worry to their nearest title rivals, in addition to that they are scoring goals off of the bench and showing their dominance from the first to the final whistle.
This was no more apparent in the win over Leicester before the international break as it needed Marcus Rashford to somewhat spare the blushes of Romelu Lukaku. The former breaking the deadlock just minutes after coming on after the later had seen a second half penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
It is apparent that the capture of Nemanja Matic could be one of if not the most important pieces of business in the whole of the summer transfer window. You can already see the difference in Paul Pogba as he plays with much more freedom and more importantly confidence.
In addition to that Jose Mourinho is spoiled for choice in regards to who he starts in the final third of the pitch, both Rashford and Anthony Martial have made huge contributions and both will be gunning for another start this evening, with the youngster Rashford scoring the winner for England on Monday he will undoubtedly have his tails up.
To be fair the same could be said for the whole of the Manchester United team right now as they look to continue their early season momentum. Stoke have already got the better of Arsenal but to be honest I cannot see lightning striking twice later on this evening. I’ll go for an away win as the unbeaten streak continues.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 8, 2017