Man United v Stoke: Moyes’ men to drive Stoke potty

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December 1984 witnessed the privatisation of BT, Band Aid hitting the coveted Christmas number one spot and the birth of a baby that would turn into the arguably the biggest star in NBA history – LeBron James. But while these were some of the milestones of the year, Stoke fans remember the period as the last time they defeated Manchester United in the league.

Only once in 13 matches since then have the Potters got the better of the Red Devils – in the League Cup in 1993 – while United have romped to victory on 11 of those 13 occasions with just one tie ending all square.

As such there is cause for optimism among the United faithful who so far this season have watched their team stutter their way to a measly 11 points from eight games.

Moyes’ men were somewhat unlucky to drop two points against Southampton last time out but they will fancy their chances against a Stoke side that has scored just four goals this season.

United’s dominance in this fixture rightly sees them installed as the 4/11 favourites, while the Potters look a little short – even at 8/1.

A better value bet for those anticipating a United win would be to back the hosts at -1 at odds of 10/11 with Moyes’ side winning by a two-goal margin in all of the last three and eight of the last 12 league meetings.

Even during United’s “disastrous” start under Moyes the Old Trafford side has still lost just one competitive game at home this term, and with the win seeming a foregone conclusion, many could be tempted by the various other markets on offer.

Wayne Rooney has again grabbed the headlines of late – for both his on-pitch performances and ongoing spat with Sir Alex Ferguson – but strike partner Robin van Persie has quietly gone about his business, scoring 13 goals in 14 games for club and country.

And with United plundering an average of just over three goals in their last eight home games against the Potters, RvP looks a safe bet to notch here again.

The Dutchman can be backed at 5/2 to open the scoring, something he has done four times for United already this term, and at the same price to close proceedings.

However, with United not exactly firing on all cylinders a more reserved match could be in the offing, making the 14/1 on RvP to score first in a 2-0 United win a tempting selection.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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