|United hoping to stay ‘strong’ against Stoke|
20 October 2012
MANCHESTER: Manchester United are expecting a physical confrontation with Stoke when Sir Alex Ferguson’s team returns to Old Trafford for the first time since their surprising loss to Tottenham.
Beaten twice already in their opening seven Premier League games of the season, United know there is little margin for error.
“It is always hard to play against Stoke,” said Nani. “They play a different kind of football to most teams in the Premier League. They have very strong players. We need to be strong and try to play our game.”
United are facing a potentially pivotal period of five weeks which could make or break their attempts to wrestle the league title away from local rivals Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas has warned his old club Chelsea that Tottenham are desperate to end the Blues’ unbeaten start to the Premier League season. Not only did Chelsea beat Spurs in last season’s FA Cup semi-final, but they also denied the north London club a place in the Champions League.
Spurs finished fourth, but Chelsea, who came sixth, took the last English berth after winning the competition. Now a win could move fifth-placed Tottenham within two points of Chelsea.
“We never know how the game can develop,” said Villas-Boas. “But certainly, a good game might hopefully give us a chance to go nearer the top, which is what we want.”
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