REUTERS – Stoke City will look to heap more misery on an out-of-sorts Manchester United side when they host Louis van Gaal’s men at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday, manager Mark Hughes has said.
The Potters, who were held to a goalless draw by West Ham United on Dec. 12 and then lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace last weekend, will look to return to winning ways against United, who are on a six-game winless streak in all competitions.
“Confidence-wise, we are not damaged by the performance (against Palace),” Hughes told British media.
“We will look ahead to the Manchester United game and at the moment it seems they are not in great shape, so it might be a good time to play them.”
The former Manchester City boss also predicted a short-stay at the top of the table for Leicester City and said the league has become more competitive with mid-table clubs able to attract top talents from across Europe.
“Those with most resources will filter back towards the top, but it’s good that we are seeing fresher faces in there and we hope to be in the mix towards the end as well,” Hughes said.
“The middle ground has got stronger because there’s only so many players that the top clubs can bring into their squads to make them better, so there’s good players to make yourself stronger and better.
“We possibly have more resources now and the Premier League is a huge draw for players all over the world, so we have that advantage over other European leagues.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)