The man who tormented Manchester United when they played Stoke City on Boxing Day â€“ Marko Arnautovic â€“ is a doubt for the English Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Arnautovic and the rest of the Stoke players ran rings around Manchester United at the Britannia a month and a bit back, with the home team eventually coming away 2-0 winners in a match that could have easily gone 4-0 or 5-0 in their favour. Arnautovic scored the second goal in that game, but the Austria international could miss out on the reverse fixture because of a knock.
The former Werder Bremen and Inter Milan forward missed Stoke's 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup at the weekend, and is a serious doubt to face Manchester United as well, along with Jonathan Walters and former Liverpool man Glen Johnson.
"The likes of Marko Arnautovic, Jon Walters and Glen Johnson missed out at the weekend because they weren't fit," Hughes told the club's official website. "They had a light session [on Monday] and if they don't get a reaction to that they should be available."
Marc Wilson, though, will definitely miss the trip to Manchester United with a medial ligament injury, which could keep him out of action for 10-12 weeks. Shay Given is another who remains on the treatment table, along with Charlie Adam, while Ryan Shawcross is not expected to feature due to a back injury. New record signing Gianelli Imbula might make it to the bench, but it is unlikely.
"Marc Wilson is unavailable. It's not cruciate ligament injury thankfully but it's the medial, so it'll be 10-12 weeks, so it's significant," Hughes added.
"It'll near-on rule him out for the season now but hopefully he'll get back. It's one you have to manage correctly which we always do and it should be straightforward in terms of recovery."
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal, who will hope to replicate the 2-1 success against Stoke in the corresponding fixture last season, could start Michael Carrick, after the midfielder came off the bench in the convincing FA Cup win over Derby County following a layoff where he missed four matches with a knee injury. Carrick could take the place of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is likely to sit out for a month due to a knee injury.
"He [Carrick] could only play 20 minutes against Derby and I wanted to give him that 20 minutes because we need him playing regularly again," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the club's official website. "He did very well and I have no complaints."
Matteo Darmian is struggling with a chest injury, which means youngster Guillermo Varela could make a start again after his promising display against Derby. Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo are all long-term injury absentees.
Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Carrick, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Fellaini, Martial; Rooney.
Stoke City: Butland; Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters; Cameron, Whelan; Afellay, Bojan, Shaqiri; Arnautovic.