Stoke can stifle beleaguered Man Utd boss Van Gaal on Boxing Day
Holly Thackeray | December 22, 2015
Stoke City v Manchester United
- Premier League
- Saturday, December 26th
- Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
- Britannia Stadium, Stoke
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Van Gaal’s Christmas message to stir spirit in Boxing Day battle?
There is not a lot of Christmas cheer surrounding Old Trafford at the moment, but a trip to the Britannia Stadium may not be quite the type of break to buoy Manchester United, who sit uncomfortably outside the Premier League top four on goal difference.
Stoke away is just one of those festive fixtures no manager wants, and Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is certainly under the microscope at the moment, with a win on the road priced at 13/10 by Coral. Though, that looks a little long considering United have a goal difference of just eight and are without victory in six outings across all competitions.
The stats look damning but, according to reports, Van Gaal gave a Christmas speech intended to rally his Red Devils troops, and fans will be hoping this battle cry can make a difference at the Britannia.
Customers may still fancy Stoke at 11/5 for a home win, and to potentially deliver the final blow for Dutchman Van Gaal’s stay in the Man Utd dugout. However, the Potters are without a win in two themselves and split the spoils last time United came to town, so a draw at the same price of 11/5 looks more likely to come off.
Bojan’s boys to cause havoc
Stoke have had struggles in front of goal themselves, and will be keen to get on the scoresheet against their Red Devils rivals at an ideal moment.
The trio of former Barcelona schemer Bojan Krkic and ex-Inter Milan pair Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri are most lauded for modernising the Potters’ attacking play, and may smell blood against a Man Utd backline which has recently come undone against promoted Premier League sides Bournemouth and Norwich City.
Mercurial Austrian talent Arnautovic memorably bagged a brace to sink Manchester City recently, and is tasty at 2/1 to inflict damage on the Red Devils at any time. While, Bojan’s brilliance sees him priced at a fabulous 3/1 in a Coral match special (max stake £20) to also ripple the net anytime for the second match in a row.
Man Utd’s Golden Boy Martial due a goal
Main United forward threat Anthony Martial is also up for grabs in a match special, with the fantastic Frenchman 4/1 to score and Man United to win, also with a maximum stake of £20.
Should customers fancy the France international to bag, but the Red Devils not to take all three points, menacing Martial, who was recently crowned Europe’s Golden Boy by journalists, is similarly great value at 11/2 to nab the opener.
Alternatively, skipper Wayne Rooney is 6/4 to strike anytime, with Dutch winger Memphis Depay the same price, though Martial, who hit a consolation against the Canaries, looks most enticing.
Read more on Man Utd and the Premier League in our archives.
Coral’s top tip: We don’t expect free-flowing football here, so odds of 11/5 are great for a draw.