Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) celebrates with Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (L) scoring the team’s fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Manchester United at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on August 19, 2017. Geoff CADDICK / AFP
Manchester United have made the perfect start to the Premier League season, but one of their most fondly remembered former strikers is plotting their downfall.
Jose Mourinho’s side have begun the campaign with three wins from three matches, without conceding a goal, and start the weekend top of the table as they prepare to visit Stoke City on Saturday.
But they have not won at the bet365 Stadium since United old boy Mark Hughes became Stoke’s manager in 2013 and midfielder Ander Herrera knows his side are in for a difficult afternoon.
“The Premier League is very long and every team can beat you,” Herrera said.
“Now we have to face Stoke and we’ve had four seasons without winning there. It’s been a good way to start the season, but we cannot relax.
“We are ready to face them and, hopefully, the weather is not so bad there because, when it is bad, it is very difficult to play.
“We are ready. No excuses — let’s try to win there. We are Manchester United, so we are not scared.”
United appear to be in the mood to secure a first away victory over Stoke since April 2013.
Romelu Lukaku experienced the first setback of his United career when he saw a penalty saved during their last league match, a 2-0 victory over Leicester City.
But he shrugged off the disappointment during the international break, scoring four times in two matches for Belgium as they secured qualification for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Marcus Rashford, a scoring substitute against Leicester, has made a strong claim to return to the starting line-up after his fine winner against Slovakia moved England closer to a World Cup place of their own.
Rashford’s form puts extra pressure on Anthony Martial, who was overlooked by France coach Didier Deschamps for the fourth international get-together in succession.