Stoke v Man United is as much a Juxtaposition as it is a match-up. The two sides are pretty different in their style of play guided by a unique Philosophy, but it’s safe to say that Stoke City are more entertaining to watch due to their free-flowing attacking style as opposed to LVG’s anti-football tactics.
There’s no doubt that this will be a challenging fixture for Man United as they seem to have developed a tendency to struggle against fast-paced attacking sides and here’s why;
When United take on sides that do nothing but sit back and absorb the pressure, they will have more time on their hands to see the game out due to the lack of attacking instinct of their opposition.
But against the counter attacking sides as well as the powerhouses like Manchester City, the Red Devils have to watch all areas of the pitch.
Louis van Gaal’s can’t bully that Stocke City defensively which makes it hard for them to gain the upper hand over the opponents. They have been synonymous with defensive errors as of late which could pave the way for a successful counter attack.
Stoke have already witnessed United’s defensive errors first hand as they won the festive tie against United all thanks to a misjudged header by Memphis Depay within his own penalty area.
But What Has Changed Since Then?
The hype around the Potters seems to have died down a bit due to their inconsistency amongst other factors contributing to their low-performance levels.
Stoke appear to be struggling right now following two consecutive defeats in the Premier League (v Leicester) and FA Cup (v Crystal Palace).
Man United, on the other hand, are slowly rekindling the fire that made them a formidable team under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Rooney looks like a real striker again, and LVG’s tactics seem to be going down well with the players – these are certainly exciting times for the Red Devils.
But a win against Stoke could cap it all off, as it would certify United’s top four credentials considering how poorly they fared against Stoke in their first meeting of the season.
The Belief that the win would bring about in the United dressing room would be tremendous as the Players would begin to see themselves as top-four contenders instead of fallen giants.
It would go down well with the fans as well and as we all know – when the fans are happy, the club is pleased.