Mark Hughes has confirmed that Stoke city players Peter Crouch and Geoff Cameron won’t be fit in time for the Manchester United game. Although Crouch has returned to training after a groin problem,the Englishman won’t be taking any part in the crucial game against United. On the other hand Cameron is expected to miss all the festive fixtures as he is out with a hamstring injury. Cameron’s absence will have a big effect as the American has been crucial to Stoke’s midfield.
United will go into the fixture not as the favourites as Stoke are in impressive form and their attacking play has caused some experts to call them Stoke-alona with all of their Barcelona exports in the team. Hughes has transformed Stoke after years of stability but boring period under Tony Pulis. Hughes has certainly brought excitement back to the Britannia but still has retained the solid core of Pulis.
The ex-Manchester United star said,
“They are a huge club and they have a very good squad of players there,” he added. “I have been asked whether this is a good time to play them but I am always wary of that because these type of clubs more often than not bounce back emphatically.
“The players have a responsibility to produce the goods more often than not. Manchester United will know themselves that they are in a period of transition and are in a different cycle now and maybe they will have to wait until they are back at the level they were at before. We are certainly taking nothing for granted.”
On the other hand Van Gaal is under immense pressure and a defeat in this fixture surely means that he will get the sack. Visiting Stoke is never an easy task but with Manchester United’s current form,it will be a miracle nonetheless if they manage to win.