Manchester United vs Stoke City: Three players who must start

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United will be desperate to return to winning ways against Stoke City on Saturday after dropping points against Liverpool last weekend.

Visits to the Britannia Stadium in recent years have proven to be something of stumbling block, with Man United’s last win at Stoke dating back to three and a half years ago.

Jose Mourinho’s side remain just five points behind second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, and they’ll know that victory over Mark Hughes’ side would briefly take them above Manchester City, who host Spurs later in the day.

With that in mind, here are three players that must start on Saturday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The Swede’s late header against Liverpool ensured that, despite what was a disappointing performance against Jurgen Klopp’s men, momentum remains with Mourinho’s men. He has quickly morphed into the side’s talisman, their bold reference point, and with 19 goals already to his name this season Zlatan will be raring to go once again.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan struggled to regularly impose himself against Liverpool but still managed to show glimpses of his unquestionable brilliance, and 27-year-old’s presence on Saturday will be crucial when it comes to pinning back Stoke’s back four.

Paul Pogba

The worldwide meltdown following Pogba’s disappointing performance last weekend highlighted the astronomical standards set by the Frenchman in recent weeks. It was no surprise that, with the 23-year-old underperforming, United as a whole underperformed as well, and he’ll be determined to set the record straight at the Britannia.

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