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Nic Ladds 24th Dec 2008 - 10:33

Signal-of-intent United hope to sink Stoke

After their journey back from Japan, Manchester United return to their Premier League title chase on Boxing Day as club champions of the world.

Sir Alex's men travel to the Britannia Stadium in an encounter which Stoke City's boss Tony Pulis describes as a typical Boxing Day clash, one which he is very much looking forward to.

The Red Devils, however, may not be up to their usual red-hot form. Many of the squad had trouble getting used to the conditions, flights and sleep patterns in Japan and there has since been debate this week over the effect this may have on United's Premier League campaign, but United look to send out a signal of Premier League intent this week.

Manchester United are currently fourth in the Premier League but now have two games in hand due to their travels. Victory at Stoke would move the Reds above surprise top-3 team Aston Villa.

Stoke's position is less positive and there could be worse on the horizon for Pulis' men. They've accumulated twenty points from the season so far and sit 15th in the table but Manchester City top the relegation zone currently on 18 points.

Stoke have had no luck away from home this season. Without a victory away from the Britannia Stadium they have lost six out of nine and conceded 20 goals. Regardless of recent sleeping troubles, Manchester United are a 90 minute banker, currently at 1/3.

We have a range of Boxing Day specials including some enhanced multiples which include Premier League Top 3. You can back Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea to win their Boxing Day matches at 11/10, or you might fancy Man Utd to repeat their 5-0 victory over Stoke, in which case you may want to cast an eye over to which Big 3 team will score the most goals where United are 15/8 and that could be the biggest gift this Christmas.

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