Manchester United will be looking to make it four consecutive wins on the trot when they entertain Stoke City at Old Trafford on today with bookmaking sites such as footyinformer.com rating the Red devils as the clear favorites for the three points.
United go into the game on the back of a 1-0 victory over Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League whilst the visitors will be looking to bounce back from a conceding a late stoppage time equaliser against West Bromwich Albion at the Britannia stadium last weekend.
Mourinho is widely expected to stick with his much preferred 4-2-3-1 formation against the potters with four across the back, two central midfielders, two wide men out on the flanks, one playmaker at number ten and a lone forward up top.
In between the sticks David De Gea will return for United having sat out midweek. Stoke have players in Bojan Krkic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic who can really hurt United and the Spaniard will have to be in top form should he wish to keep the visitors at bay.
At right-back Antonio Valencia will be recalled by into the starting eleven by Mourinho replacing Timothy Fosu-Mensah. The Ecuadorian has enjoyed a fine start to the new campaign and will no doubt be hoping to impress his new boss further when he takes to the field against Stoke on Sunday.
In the heart of United’s defence duo Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly will start for the Portuguese having featured alongside each other in each of United’s last two league games whilst at left-back Dutchman Daley Blind will keep his place in the starting eleven after impressing against Leicester City last time out.
Acting as the defensive midfielder will be Ander Herrera. The midfielder’s quick movement on the ball combined with his excellent work rate makes him a real key player for Mourinho and one which he will no doubt use against the potters on Sunday. Alongside the Spaniard Paul Pogba will be given the freedom of the pitch by the new United boss to fully express himself further up the field. Pogba arguably had his finest performance in a United shirt last week against the foxes and Mourinho will be hoping for more of the same against Stoke.
Out on the right hand side will be Marcus Rashford. The youngster’s blistering pace down the flanks combined with his ability to put the ball in the back of the net makes him one of the first names on Jose Mourinho’s team sheet and makes him a certainty to start against Mark Hughes men. On the left hand side Frenchman Anthony Martial will be recalled back into the starting eleven by the Portuguese with Jesse Lingard the man to make way.
Mourinho will hand an opportunity to Juan Mata to start in the more advanced number ten role against Stoke leaving club captain Wayne Rooney on the substitutes bench. With the visitors likely to set up in a more defensive formation against United there will be little if any space left on the pitch for United to do any damage and in the Spaniard Mourinho has a player on his hands who can find a match winning pass in the tightest of spaces and in playing him against the potters his inclusion could prove to be the difference in United getting the three points.
Leading the United attack will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede already has six goals to his name thus far and will no doubt be looking to add to his tally when he plays against Stoke City.