Soccer Picks for Manchester United vs. Stoke City

Steven Suarez

Friday, January 31, 2014 4:13 PM GMT

The Red Devils are getting their star players back, so they have an excellent chance of topping Stoke City this weekend. Check out our soccer odds preview for the match at the Britannia.

Odds Overview

Though they're the away team on this occasion, the Red Devils can be found as -175 favorites at the top sportsbooks. The Potters are in the +550 to +600 range at home, with a draw hovering around the +300 mark in soccer odds.

Manchester United

The Red Devils are coming off a successful week in which they won both of their matches, though they were still unable to advance in their Capital One cup tie with Sunderland.

During the week, Manchester United looked much better in a 2-0 home win over Cardiff City. Juan Mata, the new arrival from Chelsea, had a hand in Robin Van Persie's first goal, and Ashley Young also got a goal in the win.

Van Persie being back was key, but Wayne Rooney also made his first appearance in quite some time, coming on as a substitute in the second half. There's no reason not to think both strikers will be back in the starting XI here this weekend.

Back in late October, RVP and Rooney were instrumental in United's 3-2 win over this same Stoke City outfit. Javier Hernandez also got on the score-sheet, with Peter Crouch and Marko Arnautovic scoring for the Potters.

Away from home, the Red Devils have actually performed rather well. They've won six matches to go along with two draws and three defeats (scoring 22 goals and allowing 17) in 11 matches thus far and will want to add another victory to their collection.

Stoke City

Since beating Leicester City 2-1 in the FA Cup, the Potters have been in poor form, losing each of their last four matches.

They've fallen to Liverpool (3-5 at home), Crystal Palace (0-1 away), Chelsea (0-1 away) and Sunderland (0-1 away). A long-awaited return to the Britannia should be most welcome for Mark Hughes' squad.

As you can gather from those results (aside from that thriller with the Reds), the Potters are having major issues in attack, failing to score for over 270 straight minutes. If you look at the top goalscorers for the club, you find midfielder Charlie Adam atop the list with five goals. That's just not going to cut it at this level.

Peter Crouch (four), Oussama Assaidi (three), Jonathan Walters (two) and Stephen Ireland (two) have all scored multiple league goals, but the overall lack of quality in front of net must be getting extremely frustrating for Stoke supporters.

Perhaps they'll figure it out this weekend. The Potters have recorded four wins, five draws and only two losses in 11 matches at home, so they'll be fancying their chances of holding serve and keeping United at bay.

Premier League Pick

It's never easy to get a result at the Britannia and we expect that to be the case again this weekend. However, this seems like one of those matches where the Red Devils will be able to scrape out a victory.

With the addition of Mata and the returns of RVP and Rooney, which should not be understated at all, United will be immensely tough to contain in attack, and we look for that quality to shine through.

As a result, for our reccomended soccer pick we believe it's in our best interest to recommend a narrow win for David Moyes' boys here away from home. They're healthy again and will be hoping to prove they shouldn't be forgotten about in the top four race.

Pick: Manchester United 2 Stoke City 1

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