Mourinho expects tough test at Stoke City as United look to continue winning start

Manchester United travel to Stoke tomorrow looking to continue their winning start to the campaign.

But they might not have it quite so easy in the Potteries as Stoke – managed by former Old Trafford favourite Mark Hughes – have a good recent record against United at the bet365 stadium, unbeaten there since 2013 against the Red Devils.

Jose Mourinho seemed aware of this in his pre-match press conference and was keen to temper expectations. 

“It’s a stadium that puts a lot of pressure [on] too,” he said. “So, I think it’s going to be difficult again. Hopefully, we can be better than in previous years and win but difficult it is going to be, for sure.”

The United manager identified the main challenges that Stoke will pose, noting their danger in attacking set pieces, as well as the fact “they defend with a lot of men”.

Indeed, Stoke have only conceded two goals in the season so far, and will be looking to stifle United’s already heavy-firing attack.

With the Potters having only scored two goals in their opening three games themselves though, a dull affair might have been expected were this match being contested by last season’s United side.

Mourinho’s team of 2017/18 are in far more exciting form though, scoring over three goals per game on average. Unsurprisingly, a United player tops both the goal and assist charts for the Premier League, Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan respectively.

Lukaku continued his league form over the international break, scoring Belgium’s winning goal away against Greece in their World Cup qualifying tie, although Mkhitaryan was unable to prevent his native Armenia from losing both of their qualifying matches.

In team news, Luke Shaw may be back in contention for an appearance after recovering from injury, but he will need to have impressed Mourinho in training and his recent appearance for the Under-23s to displace Daley Blind at left-back.

United have named the same back four in their opening league games and are yet to concede a goal.

You can watch the game on BT Sport or listen on radio on talkSPORT, kick-off at 17:30.

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