Why Slavisa Jokanovic is warning Sheffield United ahead of Stoke City game

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Slavisa Jokanovic has fired out a warning to his Blades side ahead of Saturday's home game with one of the Championship's undoubted early-season success story in Stoke City.

United head into the game on the back of consecutive away defeats at Bournemouth and Middlesbrough, with Jokanovic's side overpowered in a 2-0 defeat against the latter on Teesside.

Fourth-placed Stoke are currently ten places and nine points ahead of United, with midfielder Mario Vrancic having impressed greatly in their fine start to the season alongside the likes of Harry Souttar - on the radar of several Premier League clubs - Nick Powell and Josh Tymon.

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While gaining plaudits for some fine performances, the Potters have proved strong at set-plays and have already notched five goals. Only Huddersfield Town (six) have scored more, with Stoke heading into the game on the back of an outstanding win over a powerhouse West Brom side.

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Jokanovic said: "Stoke started very well, we checked a lot of the last game.

"They are physical and a strong team and one of the biggest winners in the physical parts of their work, which is impressive.

"They combine well and score goals, they can be a real danger for us and have started better than us. It’s a good chance for us to take one step forward.

"We are full of confidence too after the last game. I didn’t find any opponent without energy to fight against us but it’s a great challenge for them too to play against Sheffield United.

"I am sure they will be focused on us, if they are still enjoying their last victory it can be good news for me, but they have a really good coach with a lot of experience and I am sure this game is behind them.

"It’s a different style they will face against us than West Brom and I am sure they will be ready for the challenge."