United prepared to bounce back at struggling Stoke

Manchester United have the chance to regain their fifteen point lead at the top of the Premier League when they travel to struggling Stoke City on Sunday afternoon.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s defeat in the Manchester derby on Monday evening was their first in nineteen league games, and means that they are not able to clinch a twentieth league title until the visit of Aston Villa on April 22nd at the earliest.

Ashley Young will miss out at the weekend having injured his ankle last time out, though defensive trio Nemanja Vidic, Chirs Smalling and Jonny Evans are all pushing for recalls, along with Paul Scholes who hasn’t featured since the FA Cup fourth round victory over Fulham at the end of January.

United won the reverse fixture at Old Trafford back in October, with Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Robin Van Persie all on target in the 4-2 victory; their eight win in nine Premier League games against this opposition.

Elsewhere, the Daily Star have reported that the club are preparing a £26 million bid for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.

The 19 year odld, who has this season became a regular in the France national side, was originally monitored by United before moving to the Spanish capital in 2011.