Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney will be key if Manchester United need to come away with all three points from the Britannia Stadium on Thursday.Getty

Manchester United will take on Stoke City for the New Year's Day Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium on Thursday.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is at 12:45pm GMT. Live coverage is on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. Catch the highlights of the game on Match of the Day on BBC One and BBC One HD at 10:35pm GMT.

Overview

Former United flop Mame Biram Diouf's brace helped Stoke register a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, which was their second win in the space of two days. Mark Hughes will be hoping Diouf will be able to emulate the same when the Red Devils visit the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters ended their three-match winless run with a 3-2 win over Arsenal and since then, they have won two of their last two league matches. Hughes is aware of United's ability to possess threat to the opponents and Ryan Shawcross will be the main man for Stoke in their back four.

Manchester United
Manchester United will hope Robin van Persie (C) can continue his goal scoring form against Stoke City.Getty

Meanwhile, United come into this fixture after a goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Red Devils showcased contrasting performances in the first and second halves. Louis van Gaal's men demonstrated one of their best performances in the first half, only to disappoint with a below standard play in the second.

Despite the draw, United are still third in the Premier League table with 36 points from 19 games. Van Gaal will be looking to extend the 20-times English champions' nine-match unbeaten run against Stoke too on Thursday.

What Managers Say

Mark Hughes: "Suddenly he [Van Gaal] seems to be the right figurehead for the club. He's the guy you sense they need given that last year was a time of transition for them. And they're still going through that process to a certain extent. They need a strong person at the head of the club and he certainly gives that impression to everybody."

Louis van Gaal: "Herrera trained today for the first time with us but, yes, they don't have match rhythm. Januzaj has also trained two training sessions with us, but he was ill and you have to recover from your illness, not from your tiredness. Maybe it's worse to recover from illness."

Betting Odds (bwin)

  • Stoke City to win: 3
  • Draw: 12/5
  • Manchester United to win: 1

Team Form

Stoke City

  • Last Five (all competitions): W D L W W
  • Last Result: Stoke City 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

Manchester United

  • Last Five (all competitions): W W D W D
  • Last Result: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Manchester United

Team News

Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes has a strategy in place to beat Manchester United when they visit the Britannia Stadium on Thursday.Reuters

Stoke City

  • Injured: Peter Odemwingie, Victor Moses, Steve Sidwell, Phil Bardsley
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Suspended: N/A

Possible XI: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; N'Zonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic, Adam, Walters; Diouf

Manchester United

  • Injured: Angel di Maria, Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Suspended: N/A

Possible XI: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Rojo; Rafael, Carrick, Rooney, Mata, Shaw; Van Persie, Wilson