Manchester United have been a pretty good Cup team, while struggling in the English Premier League this season.
After showing signs of improvement in the Premier League as well, with a comfortable victory over Aston Villa at the weekend, David Moyes will hope his United side continue their good Cup run when they travel to Stoke City for the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup.
Having drawn Olympiakos in the Champions League last 16, Moyes will be quietly confident his side can make at least the quarterfinals of Europe's elite competition, and therefore the manager's attentions will turn to domestic action, particularly the Premier League as United look to claw back a 10-point deficit from leaders Arsenal.
That does not mean, however, that Moyes will overlook the importance of the League Cup. "Managers might have some priorities that are more important than others but I've tried to win every competition I've been involved in and I will definitely do everything I can to win this one," Moyes said.
The last time United faced Stoke, they eked out a narrow come-from-behind 3-2 victory at Old Trafford and the former Everton manager was all praise for Stoke boss Mark Hughes, a former United player himself.
"Like a lot of clubs, there is a transition happening at Stoke and they are changing. Mark is a very experienced manager in Premier League terms and he will put his own stamp on Stoke."
Stoke are fairly comfortably perched in 13th in the Premier League at the moment, and do not necessarily look like being relegation candidates come the end of the season.
Hughes, after coming so close to pulling off a win at Old Trafford in October, will want to knock his former side out of the Capital One Cup, while Moyes will look to ease the pressure on himself with another assured victory.
Team news: Stoke: Hughes, who only has defender Robert Huth missing through injury, insisted he will play a strong side despite a bunch of big fixtures coming up.
"I am aware of the fixtures coming up, and the closeness of matches, but this is a game that we want to win, and that will be shown in the team that I select," Hughes said.
"You do have to be conscious of certain things over this period, because you don't want to burn out your players, but at the same time you want to win matches too -- whether they be in the Premier League or in the cup competitions.
"Thankfully, we have a good squad here, and players who are desperate to play and desperate to do well for the club, so whichever eleven I put out, I know that the quality will be there to win the game, should they all perform to the levels that they are capable of."
Manchester United: David Moyes revealed he would use the full extent of his squad for this fixture, with Robin Van Persie and Michael Carrick still sidelined due to injury.
"We have a squad of players who I believe can all play in any game, so I'll see who I think is ready," he said. "We have a lot of games coming up and we need to use that squad. I'll look at this game and see who is best suited. But I think we have fielded a strong side in every game we have played.
"There were a few I expected to play [against Villa] but got injured on Saturday before we travelled down. There is nothing fresh and hopefully I won't find anything fresh."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 1.15 am IST (Thursday) start with live coverage on Ten Action and Ten HD in India. There is no official live streaming option available in the country, however. Viewers in the U.K. can live stream the action by clicking HERE. To catch the match in the U.S. click HERE. North Africa and Middle East viewers can watch the match live online via live streaming HERE. Viewers in Latin America click HERE.
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