Stoke City boss Tony Pulis doesn't believe today's opponents Manchester United are suffering a form slide.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men did suffer defeat to rivals Manchester City in their derby last Monday but Pulis sees that as a mere blip.

He said: "I think you have got to recognise the strength they have got.

"You have got to recognise you are competing against overwhelming odds in a lot of respects.

"That is why they are champions-elect - they have got the best team and the best players.

"We have to pick a team we think will work as hard as they possibly can to nullify their strengths, and also give us an opportunity to compete at the other end of the pitch as well."