Last Updated: 24/09/11 8:21pm
Stoke hold on to earn their first ever point against United. Join us again next time, have a good one, later!
Owen has an effort on goal which Begovic saves. The former Liverpool striker was offside though. Soon after Begovic collects a hopeful cross by Nani.
Giggs fails to keep his effort down at the far post after running onto Nani's delightfully floated cross.
Crouch does well to control a cross under pressure from Valencia but then drags his effort wide from close range as he loses his balance. He's been a constant menace throughout.
Crouch directs a header wide off a corner. Jones looked to have done just enough there to put off the towering hitman.
Giggs squeezes his way past two men in the Stoke box but is crowded out before he can pull the trigger. He's looked lively since coming on.
United are looking much better with the recent additions. It's Stoke's turn now to absorb some pressure as Owen heads over off a cross from Jones.
Nani dances his way into space on the edge of the area but his curling effort is deflected over for a corner. Giggs' delivery is headed clear.
Evra feeds Giggs down the left but the veteran winger's cross is forced out for a corner by Pennant. Stoke clear the set piece.
Antonio Valencia is penalised for a raised foot on Walters just outside the United box. Wilson smashes the set-piece goalward but De Gea sticks out a strong hand to deflect the ball clear.
At the other end Berbatov goes down in the box under a challenge from Woodgate but again the ref waves play on.
United really need to get their studs on the ball in midfield as they're chasing shadows at the moment and are sure to tire at this rate.
Pennant goes down in the United box under a challenge from Anderson but the ref's having none of it.
Anderson shapes too shoot, steals a couple of yards, and then does let fly but Begovic gets down smartly to thwart the midfielder's grounded effort.
Pennant looks a threat for Stoke everytime he gets down the flank. No doubt Sir Alex Ferguson will be concerned.
Anderson brings the ball out of defence and tries to find Owen with an ambitious long-range pass, which Stoke deal with comfortably.
De Gea blocks Crouch's effort from two yards out following Pennant's cross into the box. The keeper didn't know to much about that but makes the crucial stop all the same.
At the other end, Berbatov rattles a powerful effort straight at Begovic from the edge of the area, with the keeper well positioned to make the stop.
Stoke score! Crouch loses his marker Jones and heads home Etherington's corner from six yards out after Walters forced the set-piece.
Etherington cuts out a cheeky back heel from Young as Stoke progress down the right. However, Etherington's cross is poor and De Gea collects in relative comfort.
Evra concedes an early foul but Stoke fail to make anything of it. It doesn't look like the physicality is going to taper at all this evening.
United enter the break a goal up thanks to Nani's spectacular effort. Join us in 15 minutes for the second instalment.
Looks like United will take their slender lead into the break as Berbatov is unable to link up with Owen thanks to the onrushing Begovic.
Walters tries to find Crouch via the aerial route but the ex-Tottenham man is unable to connect in the box. They haven't quite gelled yet.
Jones drives forward but his effort is squeezed out for a corner. He's looked a constant threat when getting forward from defence.
Evra shows some delightful skill to juggle the ball under control at Etherington's expense but his cross in is easily gathered by Begovic.
Hi all, I'm a villa fan but am praying for a utd win.........the reason??? I need utd to win for a £5400 accumulator to come in :):) yes I'm nervous COME ON UTD :) From Dave the avid villa fan :)
Nani ballons over the cross bar with Asmir Begovic out of position after the Stoke keeper, put under pressure by a poor back pass, opted to run his way out of trouble. That was a let off for the hosts.
Stoke nearly equalise but De Gea does brilliantly to push a cracking effort from Andy Wilkinson onto the woodwork to preserve the visitors' lead.
United score! Nani plays a great one-two with Darren Fletcher and fires home superbly with his left foot from inside the box.
If you're wondering, Rooney's absence for United is due to a hamstring injury sustained in training. With Hernandez off as well, it's effectively the B-team strikers out there today in Berba and Owen.
Neither side has really stamped their authority yet amid all the heavy challenges. Stoke would probably prefer it that way.
Pennant returns to the fray and is immediately felled by a welcome back tackle from the physical Anderson.
He's hobbling around. Last time I said someone looked to be alright they were substituted a minute later. I'll keep my mouth shut this time.
Pennant is receiving some attention after losing his footing with no marker in sight. That can't be a good sign.
It's a bit scrappy at the moment with Stoke doing well to derail United's typical free-flowing ambitions.
Dimitar Berbatov lets us know he's on the field as he flashes a header narrowly wide off Anderson's corner for United.
Matthew Etherington cleans up nicely in a messy midfield exchange. Stoke push forward through Pennant down the right but the former Liverpool man's cross is cut out.
Anderson's ball long ball down the left is a touch too strong for the chasing Ashley Young and Stoke get the goal kick.
There are some heavy challenges flying in from either side. I suspect we'll see quite alot of referee Peter Walton today.
At the other end Jones bombs forward down the left but his cross is cut out. He really is popping up everywhere early on.
Hernandez's contribution seems to be over for the day and Michael Owen looks like he's getting ready to step in.
Jones' header is cleared off the line by Delap after a set-piece on the right - for a foul on Nani - is swung into the Stoke box.
Hernandez looks to be alright as he runs off the knock on the sidelines and is given the go ahead to rejoin the action.
United's Javier Hernandez races clear but is bundled over in the box by Jonathan Woodgate. On another day that may have been given. The young Mexican has taken a knock and is struggling a bit.
Stoke get an early corner as Jermaine Pennant's cross from the right is deflected out by Phil Jones. The delivery is forced out for a throw-in and Rory Delap's typically menacing effort forces David de Gea to punch clear.
jamie from county fermanagh: I think this will be a physical test for united and will suffer greatly from set-pieces. However I think fergies men have it in them to win this one 4-2 with hernandez with two and young and anderson with one a piece.
Terry from Panama: When was the last time a team went all season without a defeat? This could be the game that pulls the reds back to earth.
Edd Irwin, howzit boet, from Durban, South Africa is going for a draw: I'm Going for a draw at 1 each. I don't think Our defense will let in another. Four goals like last week.
Michael expects United to pull out the stops in the second half, with: 4 - 1 to united. United to score first and first half to end 1- 1.
ikemble is first out the blocks, with: Man Utd 3 to Stoke 2 with Hernandez scoring two and Jones one while Walters and Crouch score one apiece for stoke.
Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Valencia, Evra, Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Young, Berbatov, Hernandez. Subs: Lindegaard, Owen, Giggs, Park, Welbeck, Fabio Da Silva, Valencia.
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Woodgate, Wilson, Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Huth, Whitehead, Upson, Shotton, Jerome, Palacios.
As we await the teams, send in your predictions and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll publish as many of them as I can before and throughout proceedings. Crackpot footy theories of a pc nature (sorry) also welcome.
If you're having some strong premonitions, Stoke are rated at 5/1 to beat Man United according to our friends at Sky Bet while Javier Hernandez is 7/1 to score a brace.
The rampant Red Devils, 3-1 victors over Chelsea last Sunday, are boosted by the return of Rio Ferdinand after three weeks out with a calf strain. However, red-hot hitman Wayne Rooney sits this one out. United are a point behind local rivals Manchester City at the summit.
The fifth-placed hosts, who were thumped 4-0 by Sunderland in their last league test, are without Carling Cup casualty Kenwyne Jones (hamstring).
History, pedigree and form suggests United will relish their prospects today, ripe conditions for an upset so argue the Potters faithful. Let's wait and see.