Sep 9, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ‚Äčbet365 Stadium
Attendance: 29,320
StokeStoke City
Man UtdManchester United
FT(HT: 1-1)
Rashford (44'), Lukaku (57')

Mark Hughes: 'Manchester United clearly top of the pile'

Mark Hughes watches on during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Stoke City on May 6, 2017
© SilverHub
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes backs Manchester United for the Premier League title this season.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has backed Manchester United for the Premier League title this season, praising the "very strong" depth of Jose Mourinho's squad.

The Red Devils have begun the new season in perfect fashion, winning their first three games by an aggregate 10-0 scoreline to sit top of the standings in its nascent phase.

The Potters, meanwhile, have had a mixed start with a loss, a draw and a win, although they did claim the scalp of Arsenal, a result that Hughes says should give them confidence when they welcome United to the bet365 on Saturday evening.

"Of all the teams [United] are clearly at the top of the pile," Hughes told reporters at his pre-match press conference this morning. "Their performances and the way they've gone about their business has been impressive. We had similar situation last year with Man City, who were not able to sustain it, but the make up of the Man Utd squad is very strong and they're playing in a way that their fans will take to and enjoy.

"They expect teams to attack with power and pace and ability. It's very early days. Hopefully there are still things for us to exploit.

"These games are huge for us and we always enjoy them. We hope we can get a similar result that we did against Arsenal.

"They've got the pace of [Marcus] Rashford, the power and presence of [Romelu] Lukaku, the clever play of [Juan] Mata and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan. These teams test you in a lot of ways."

Hughes's side twice held United to a 1-1 draw in the league last term.

Manchester United manager Ryan Giggs walks to the dugout prior to kick-off against Norwich in the Premier League match on April 26, 2014
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