It all went wrong for David Moyes’ reign at Manchester United about this time last season – but there’s momentum behind new boss Louis van Gaal’s side now.
United are chasing their fourth successive Premier League win on Tuesday night against Stoke (7.45pm) after Hull City kept up old boy Steve Bruce’s record of never having beaten United in his 15 years as a manager.
But if Stoke boss Mark Hughes checks the calendar to see when he returns to Old Trafford, United striker Robin van Persie’s ‘little boy within’ is unleashed every time the fixture rolls around.
Despite RVP’s stock falling further than the FTSE 100 this season – the Dutch striker has scored four goals in four Premier League games against Stoke with United (missed the 2-0 win at the Britannia in December 2013).
This has taken his tally to 10 goals in nine league games against the Potters when you include his time at Arsenal.
The Dutch striker is 4/1 to score the first goal of the game and evens to hit the net at anytime on Tuesday night (7.45pm) as he chases his fifth goal of the campaign.
You have to go back to September 2005 to find the last time Mark Hughes (above with Steve Bruce) last managed a Premier League side to win at Old Trafford.
Blackburn’s 2-1 win against the Red Devils nine years ago was the high water mark of a record that reads L7, D1 of his eight other trips to his old stomping ground. But the omens don’t look great.
- United have won 5 of their last 6 games against Stoke in all competitions.
- United have never lost at home to the visitors in the PL since their promotion.
While the words ‘park’ and ‘bus’ often apply to Stoke on the road – they have beaten Manchester City and Spurs away this season and were unlucky not to get a draw at Anfield on Saturday.
They can also point to a 2-1 win at the Britannia over United last season.
But if United’s dodgy defence holds up – just one goal conceded in their last three games – it could give RVP and Co. a platform to build on as they look to cement a top four place ahead of the Christmas fixture-list pile up.