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Louis van Gaal's Manchester United will aim to continue their recent progress on an away trip to Stoke City on New Year's Day.

Sky Sports viewers can see the improving Red Devils in action against a tough Potters side at 12:45pm on Thursday January 1st.

manchester utd vs stoke

Third-place Manchester United have claimed 23 points from the last 27 available in the Barclays Premier League, and are slowly pulling themselves back into the title race.

However, United have been held to a draw on two of their last three outings, and will be desperate to get another win on the board to keep the pressure on Chelsea and Manchester City.

A trip to Stoke's exposed, often windswept Britannia Stadium is always difficult for away sides, even without wintry weather to account for.

Mark Hughes' side have claimed some good results in 2014-15, not least a 3-2 home win against Arsenal in early December and the 1-0 away win at Everton on Sunday.

The only problem for Stoke has been consistency; the Potters have struggled to put together a prolonged run of results, hence their mid-table position.

If Stoke can bring their 'A' game on New Year's Day, they may prove an equal match for Manchester United, in what looks like an intriguing contest.

The Scottish champions Celtic are also in action on Sky Sports on January 1st, with viewers able to watch them take on Partick Thistle at 5:30pm.

Ronny Delia's side are two points clear of second-place Aberdeen after 18 games, and just five ahead of Dundee United in third.

As such, the pressure is on Celtic to keep picking up points on the road.

Nearest challengers Aberdeen have won their last four Scottish Premiership games, and look capable of giving Celtic their toughest title challenge since Glasgow rivals Rangers were demoted to Division Three in 2012.

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