Manchester United Hull City
Manchester United celebrate a goal against Hull City in the English Premier LeagueReuters

Three straight wins in the English Premier League, and everything is starting to look bright for Manchester United  again, and Louis Van Gaal's men will look to maintain that momentum when they host Stoke City on Tuesday.

With the festive season coming to the fore, fixtures will come thick and fast and much will depend on just how the teams cope during this period. Van Gaal will hope his team can sustain the winning groove against Stoke as well after victories over Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Hull City saw them close the gap on the leaders, even if it is still quite substantial.

"I don't think it is good for the players that they play within two days of a match," Van Gaal said when asked about the array of fixtures lined up over the next few weeks. "December shall be like that, and we have also family.

"I also have a wife, and kids and grandchildren and I cannot see them at Christmas. But, I want to work in the Premier League so I have to adapt and I shall adapt."

Manchester United have certainly adapted well after a slow start to the season, with their defence looking a lot more solid now. After the 2-2 draw against West Brom in the middle of October, Manchester United have only conceded three goals in total from five matches, a major reason behind their recent good run.

The goals certainly flowed at the other end in the 3-0 win over Hull City on Saturday, with Manchester United arguably putting up their best performance of the season, but Van Gaal will know in Stoke they will be up against a team difficult to break down, as Liverpool  found out at the weekend, with the Reds only managing to pick up three points thanks to a last-gasp winner from Glen Johnson.

"In the Premier League, nothing is easy and when you see Liverpool struggling against Stoke City for 85 minutes, it shows," added Van Gaal. "Every game is difficult, and that's why the Premier League is exciting because you never know.

However, if Manchester United play like they did against Hull, then they should take the three points. United's attack looked in sync on Saturday, with Ander Herrera and Juan Mata having really good games, while the strikers came up with the goals as well – Robin Van Persie, in particular, scoring an absolute peach.

Stoke City, who are in 12th with 15 points, but only four points away from the drop zone, will look to bounce back from what they will feel was an unlucky defeat, with Mark Hughes' men doing pretty well for 84 minutes only for Johnson to find the winner five minutes from time.

Team news: Manchester United: Van Gaal could decide to start with Radamel Falcao, who made a return from injury with a substitute appearance against Hull, but Angel Di Maria is set to miss out with a hamstring problem.

Wayne Rooney, though, is likely to start despite a knock, while Jonny Evans could also make a comeback. Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard remain on the sidelines.

Stoke City: Hughes will have to do without Steve Sidwell and Glenn Whelan, after the midfield duo suffered hamstring and calf injuries respectively in the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.

"Steve Sidwell has had a scan and he is likely to be out for four to six weeks," said Hughes. "It is a blow to us, especially with the games we have coming up. We initially feared it may be eight weeks or so, so in that aspect we are pleased because it isn't as serious as first feared.

"Glenn is likely to be out for a couple of weeks too. He will certainly miss the game [against Manchester United], which isn't ideal but thankfully he has not pulled his calf, which was what we had initially feared.

"His problem is more to do with muscle which was tightening up on him. We are hopeful that if he is not available on Tuesday or the weekend, then we hope to have him back for the game after that."

Phil Bardsley, however, is ready to feature after recovering from illness which kept him out of the game at the weekend, but Victor Moses, Robert Huth and Peter Odemwingie are ruled out.

Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young; Fellaini, Carrick, Herrera; Mata; Rooney, Van Persie.

Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsely, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; NZonzi, Cameron; Walters, Bojan, Diouf; Crouch.

Where to Watch Live

The match is set to begin at 7.45 pm GMT (1.15 am IST (Wednesday), 2.45 pm ET). Live coverage in India on TV will be on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India on

There will be no live coverage on TV in the UK, but viewers can listen to the action on BBC Radio 5 Live or by live streaming online on their Website. Watch the game live in the US on NBC Sports, while the action can also be Live Streamed online on NBC Sports Extra.

Australia viewers can watch the game on Fox Sports or live stream the action on Fox Sports On Demand, while viewers in Canada can do the same on Sportsnet or Sportsnet Online. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match on Bein Sports Arabia or via Live Streaming online courtesy Bein Sports Connect, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same on SuperSport or SuperSport online. The match can be live streamed by audience in Latin America on ESPN Play.

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