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Stephen Ireland makes first Premier League start in almost 3 years at Old Trafford

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial both feature for Manchester United.

Stephen Ireland is playing in the Premier League tonight, completing a return from a long-term injury.
Stephen Ireland is playing in the Premier League tonight, completing a return from a long-term injury.
Image: Mike Egerton

ROMELU LUKAKU AND Anthony Martial both start for Manchester United as they host Stoke City in the Premier League, while Stephen Ireland makes his first Premier League start since April 2015 for the Potters.

It is Ireland’s first Premier League appearance since he came off the bench in May 2016 against Crystal Palace, with the Cork-born midfielder recently recovering from a broken leg.

The 31-year-old former Irish international has already appeared once for Stoke this season, playing 72 minutes in Mark Hughes’ last match as manager — the 2-1 defeat by Coventry in the FA Cup.

Lukaku missed United’s last league outing against Everton with a head injury but is fit to return.

Martial, meanwhile, has been linked with Arsenal as part of the deal that looks set to bring Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also been mooted as an option for the Alexis deal, and the Armenia international has been left out of the matchday squad by Jose Mourinho.

Antonio Valencia returns to captain the team having recovered from a hamstring injury.

Stoke – who appointed Paul Lambert to replace Mark Hughes as manager on Monday – make seven changes from their defeat to Coventry.

Peter Crouch and Xherdan Shaqiri are among those recalled while January signing Moritz Bauer is handed a debut.

You can keep up to date with the game via our liveblog here.

Man Utd XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Lingard, Martial; Lukaku. Subs: Pereira, Lindelof, Rojo, McTominay, Herrera, Fellaini, Rashford.

Stoke City XI: Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Tymon; Fletcher, Allen; Shaqiri, Ireland, Choupo-Moting; Crouch. Subs: Grant, Wimmer, Edwards, Afellay, Diouf, Adam, Ramadan.

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