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4-2-3-1: Man Utd predicted XI to face Stoke City

Manchester United will be looking to make ground on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League following Pep Guardiola’s side losing 4-3 at Liverpool on Sunday.

Chelsea dropping points at home to Leicester City on Saturday also means we can build a gap over Antonio Conte’s side in second place.

Earlier today Stoke City named Paul Lambert as their manager but the former-Aston Villa boss will not take charge of this evening’s game.  The visitors start the game in the relegation zone.

Here is the team I think Jose Mourinho will name:

Goalkeeper: David de Gea

Sergio Romero got a rare start versus Derby County in the FA Cup but it will be David de Gea resuming his usual role between the sticks for this evening’s Premier League game.

Defence: Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw
Phil Jones is expected to be recalled to the starting XI to face Stoke so it could be Chris Smalling who loses his place in the starting XI. Marcos Rojo is expected to partner in the back four though Smalling cannot be ruled out of starting. We have been handed a boost with Antonio Valencia being declared fit to face the Potters meaning the captain should return at right-back in place of Victor Lindelof. Luke Shaw is almost certain to start on the left-hand side of our back four as Ashley Young completes his three-match ban.

Midfield: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford
Nemanja Matic was given a well-earned rest last Friday so will be fresh to start this one. This will see Ander Herrera drop back to the bench and Paul Pogba starting alongside the Serbian as we look to dominate the possession and territory in this match. Marouane Fellaini made his return versus the Rams so should take his place among the substitutes again for this one.  The in-form Jesse Lingard should keep his spot in the number 10 role of a 4-2-3-1 formation, flanked by Juan Mata on the right, and Marcus Rashford on the left as Anthony Martial is a doubt after picking up a knock.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku
Came off the bench for the start of the second half in the FA Cup to score the goal that clinched our place in the fourth round, Romelu Lukaku will be back in the starting lineup to face Stoke City. Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains sidelined with a knee injury so we’re limited for options up top.

Here is how I think we’ll line up: