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Stoke City vs. Manchester United

Britannia Stadium



On Sky

Stoke fans hopeful ahead of Quart Final clash!

The two teams have already met once this season in the 3-2 clash at Old Trafford in October. The home team came out on top in that game but Mark Hughes and co will feel aggrieved to have left without a point.

David Moyes will have a selection headache with Robin Van Persie unavailable for the game. It`s arguable that the biggest challenge for Moyes is deciding on the strength of the side that he selects.

Sir Alex Ferguson`s experience enabled him to pick a side that was just good enough to dispatch his opponents without being guilty of over committing his key players. Moyes has found it difficult to adjust to the rotation policy at United and this can be seen in the team`s underperformance in the Premier League compared to their overwhelming finish in the Champions` League group stage.

This is Stoke City`s first home game since their famous 3-2 win over Chelsea. That result is by far Mark Hughes` finest moment as Stoke manager but I`m sure that his eyes will now be firmly placed on an eventual trip to Wembley.

Mark Hughes has said that he believes whichever side he selects for the quarter final will be capable of sending the team into their first League Cup semi final since they won the trophy in 1972.

This will be Stoke`s second televised game of the week and Sky punters will be hoping that it is not a repeat of the Potters` trip to the KC Stadium on Saturday. The game may not have been a classic but did see Stoke improve on their form with only 1 loss in their last 8 games.

Stoke City Team News:

Robert Huth will definitely miss the clash as Marc Wilson continues to deputise in his absence. Jonathan Walters may return to the side after being suspended for the weekend`s bore draw against Hull City. Thomas Sorenson may be handed a start in the cup game.

Player to watch: Marc Wilson

The Irishman has put in some stellar performances at centre back this season. Robert Huth will be worrying how he is going to regain his place in the starting line up when he returns from injury.

Manchester United Team News:

Good news for Stoke fans with Robin Van Persie still suffering from a thigh injury. Other news for the visitors sees Marrouane Fellaini cup tied with Patrice Evra and Antonio Valencia unavailable.

Player to watch: Javier Hernandez

With Robin Van Persie still suffering from injury it is likely that Manchester United`s goal scoring threat will rely on their Mexican striker.

Match Facts/Stats & Quotes

Manchester United have not won the League Cup since 2010.

Last Sunday saw Danny Welbeck score his first Premier League goals since 17th August

202 - Stoke have committed more fouls than any other team in the top flight this season. (Opta Sports)

David Moyes on the Capital One Cup - ""All cup competitions are important to Manchester United and we will do everything we can to try and remain in the cup." (/Manchester Evening News)

Mark Hughes on his team selection - "Thankfully, we have a good squad here, and players who are desperate to play and desperate to do well for the club, so whichever eleven I put out, I know that the quality will be there to win the game, should they all perform to the levels that they are capable of." (Stoke City Official Website)

Ref Watch:

Here's one we made earlier Mark Clattenburg

Match Prediction:

As of 16th December, Stoke had managed to sell 24,000 tickets for this quarter final clash. The importance of the fans cannot be underestimated along with David Moye`s team choice. He may be able to pick a team that can win 5-0 away to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, but can he pick a team that can cut it on a cold and windy Wednesday night at the Britannia? I hope not. Stoke to clinch it in extra-time.

Next Fixture:

Stoke City face Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium.

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The Journalist

Writer: Jamie Chapman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 17 2013

Time: 8:11PM


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