Tottenham vs Man. United

The Premier League is back and boy have we missed it! Yesterday Sheffield United travelled to Birmingham and were unlucky to be held to a 0-0 draw after a technology mishap and Manchester City battered a sorry Arsenal 3-0. But today I am previewing Manchester United’s return to the Premier League with a debut trip to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and face former-manager Jose Mourinho for the second time since his departure from Old Trafford. Here’s all you need to know:

Tottenham vs Man. United

  • Teams: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
  • Date: Friday 19th of June 2020
  • KO Time: 20:15 GMT 
  • Managers: Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Stadium: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Referee: Jonathan Moss

Manchester United are set to be without defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones but with Maguire, Lindelof and Bailly all fit, this should not trouble Ole for the time being. Solskjaer has stated in his press conference that Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba will feature but not for the full 90 minutes as they are still recovering from their long term injuries sustained in January and December respectively.

Before the lockdown, Tottenham were in a troubled state with most their senior players injured, no recognised striker and issues with contracts surrounding the club. Now, Kane, Son, Bergwijn and Sissoko are fit to play with Mourinho able to field an almost fully-fit squad. Dele Alli will not feature following another FA ban due to an inappropriate joke concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and Japhet Tanganga will also miss out due to injury.

Interesting Stats:

  • Manchester United remain unbeaten in 11 matches before lockdown began, having only conceded two goals in that time and keeping 9 clean sheets.
  • Manchester United have only won once away to Spurs in their last five Premier League matches, fortunately it came last season in a 0-1 win at Wembley
  • While Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 11 matches, Spurs are winless in their last six matches, having been knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League during this brutal period
  • Manchester United are yet to concede more than two goals in a Premier League match this season and are still unbeaten when leading at half time in Premier League history
  • The last time United played away to Spurs, David de Gea broke the record for the most saves with his feet as he made 11 saves in the match, four of which were with his feet. A total only beaten by his save count the year before against Arsenal (14). 

This will be interesting as you would have backed United much more before the break than now based on Spurs’ squad. I do think Ole will respect Spurs’ quality much more and even though there’s no crowd, he should still consider this as an away match nonetheless and I expect a 5-3-2 formation. While I would like to see Maguire, Lindelof and Bailly all start, I do expect the back five to be Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw and Williams who have all played well in their respective positions.

The midfield trio is interesting as I do see both Fred and Bruno starting and while it would be amazing to see Pogba start with these two I do believe that against the reinforced Spurs’ midfield, I expect Matic to come in and shore up the midfield. Up front I would expect Martial to partner Rashford and James to replace Rashford after an hour or so and show how well the Frenchman partners with the returning Manc. 

I expect United to get a result and keep Spurs at bay as they have a lot of players returning from fitness and could be ruined on the counter with United’s pace as they remain defensively limited. I also expect a clean sheet and will be interested to see Wan-Bissaka’s next challenge of Son or Bergwijn and Maguire’s battle with Kane. 

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