Only Stoke City and Sunderland have failed to win a game thus far. Sunderland’s current plight was foreseeable. Stoke City’s on the other hand, was not.
Having avoided relegation since their return to the league in the 2008/09 season, the Potters have been a balanced side for a couple of years now.
The Bet365 Stadium outfit’s Premier League status could change this term if Mark Hughes fails to bring his team out of the mire they seem to have fallen into.
The Potters were denied their first win of the campaign against West Brom when Salomon Rondon struck home in injury time to earn his side a point.
However, a lot of positives can be taken out of that game, as Stoke managed to end their four-game losing run.
Despite this, Stoke City are still languishing in the relegation zone with just two points from six games.
It’s quite clear that they need to pick up a win as soon as possible. Mark Hughes and his team have a tough task ahead of them with their next fixture seeing Stoke take on Manchester United.
To make matters worse, Stoke’s record against United at Old Trafford is quite disappointing, to say the least. The Potters have drawn one and lost 15 of their last 16 outings at Old Trafford since their promotion in 2008.
Stoke City’s backline could be exposed against United as they possess one of the most potent attacking lineups in the League, while the Potters’ defensive problems have been evident since their game against Manchester City.
It looks quite unlikely that Stoke will pick up their first win at Old Trafford. But as daunting as the task may seem, we’ve witnessed enough upsets to get an impression that anything can happen on the pitch.
Ryan Shawcross has already rallied the troops ahead of the tie in hopes that his side can pick up a decent result at Old Trafford.
The Englishman cited their win against Manchester City last season, saying “We did it at Man City a couple of years ago and we will go there (Old Trafford) with a lot of heart.”
Mark Hughes is well aware of the stakes going into this encounter. A win against Manchester United could ease the tension surrounding Hughes’ position at Stoke City.
Failure to pick up wins in subsequent fixtures could result in his sack. Hence, he’ll be keen on getting Stoke back on track.