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Barclays Premier League Previews

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM

STOKE (4-2-3-1)

BEGOVIC,

CAMERON, SHAWCROSS, MUNIESA, PIETERS,

N'ZONZI, WHELAN,

WALTERS, BOJAN, DIOUF,

CROUCH

UNITED (3-4-1-2)

FALCAO, VAN PERSIE,

MATA,

YOUNG, ROONEY, CARRICK, VALENCIA,

EVANS, McNAIR, JONES,

DE GEA

Manchester United ended 2014 with a draw, the 0-0 stalemate at Tottenham Hotspur, to start the New Year in third place, 10 points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea. At this stage last season United were sixth, but only seven points off the top.

The draw in north London extended United's unbeaten run in the Premier League to nine games; they last lost two months ago, at Manchester City. Since then United have won two and drawn two of four away games.

A 10th game without loss would be their best run since they went unbeaten in 18 Premier League matches, between November 2012 and March 2013.

Stoke, meanwhile, are in a good streak; they have lost one of their last five in the Premier League, winning their last two. A third win would represent their best run of the season and will be the first time they have enjoyed three straight victories since March.

CITY (4-2-3-1)

HART,

SAGNA, DEMICHELIS, MANGALA, CLICHY,

FERNANDO, FERNANDINHO,

NAVAS, SILVA, NASRI,

JOVETIC

SUNDERLAND (4-3-3)

WICKHAM, FLETCHER, JOHNSON,

GOMEZ, CATTERMOLE, LARSSON,

JONES, BROWN, O'SHEA, VERGINI,

PANTILIMON

Manchester City, the Barclays Premier League title holders, were top at this stage of last season, two points clear of second-placed Arsenal. They also had a maximum 30 points from 10 home games; this season they have 21 from nine at the Etihad Stadium.

They are second behind leaders Chelsea, but only three points adrift. Had they not drawn at home to Burnley - and with Chelsea held to a draw at Southampton - they would now be only one point off the top.

City were bidding for a club-record 10th straight win against Burnley. Despite the draw, they remain unbeaten in 11 games, winning nine and drawing two.

Sunderland, who should include former City keeper Costel Pantilimon, drew at Aston Villa on Sunday, the club's 11th stalemate of the season, from just 19 games. Last season the Black Cats drew only eight games over the campaign; one more draw will equal their most Premier League draws, achieved on three occasions.