Manchester United go into tomorrow’s game against Tottenham after winning the last three games in all competitions. Two of these victories came against Luton Town and Brighton in the Carabao Cup. The other came in our dramatic 3-2 win against the Seagulls earning our first three points of the League campaign.
Given all the drama and chaos of last weekend and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going up against our former manager Jose Mourinho, this game will be a highly anticipated clash. United will look to go into the international break on a high note by securing the victory at Old Trafford.
Whilst we have not started the season convincingly after the opening day 3-1 loss against Crystal Palace and rode our luck against Brighton. We could be at risk of conceding multiple goals in the first three league games of the season. Something that has not happened since the 1972-73 season.
It is crucial for us to get another three points and rise up the table. Another loss would mean United could be nine points behind the top three. Albeit with a game in hand. We cannot afford to give Tottenham the chances we gave to Brighton. The Seaguls caused United a lot of problems not only by scoring twice against us but also hit the woodwork five times. Totalling 17 shots at the goal.
Our defence will play a key role in this game. It will be interesting to see if Ole might go with Maguire and Bailly in the centre of the defence.
This game comes just before the international break and the closing of the transfer window. United have only seen Van De Beek come in and it remains to be seen whether more will join.
For our opponents Tottenham, they are coming into this game with two wins and a draw in all competitions. Last week, they saw off Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League and Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup.
Manchester United vs Tottenham Match Details:
Teams: Manchester United vs Tottenham
Date: October 4th 2020 (Sunday)
KO Time: 16:30 BST
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Jose Mourinho
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted in his press conference that defender Harry Maguire will be fit for the game against Tottenham. An ankle injury kept him out of the Carabao Cup victory against Brighton but he should be fit for Sunday. Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones are still on the sidelines through injuries.
There are several players who played on Wednesday night that will certainly be pushing for a starting place. The likes of Donny Van Beek, Juan Mata and Eric Bailly have played well recently.
Solskjaer gave an exclusive interview to the United website as he talked about the situation with the squad, “It’s good. No more injuries. It was a good exercise down at Brighton, it’s been a good week. Let’s make sure we get into the international break with a good result. There were many good performances at Brighton and that’s where we want to get to and need to get to, so there are players fighting for every position on the pitch. I think that drives people on and makes them improve and, to be part of Man United, you should be able to have competition and know that you have to perform. So I was very happy with what the lads did.”
Bruno Fernandes emerged as a doubt with a thigh strain but is likely to return to the side on Sunday, missing the game midweek against Brighton. Paul Pogba is likely to come back into the side as he came off the bench to score on Wednesday and was looking his usual self.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game, Ole was asked in the pre-match press conference about the comments made between him and Jose Mourinho in the last week as he said, “We are in strange times at the moment and you’ve got to have a bit of fun as well. It’s just a couple of innocent comments. Jose is a very charismatic coach and you’ve enjoyed, in the media, talking to him. I’ve enjoyed watching him and he’s a winner. I’m not really one of these that really goes into all these mind games. I have got ultimate respect for him as a coach and, of course, his results and everything he has given football.”
Solskjaer was asked about seeing improvements in the performances as he said, “A result will always be a consequence of the performance you put in. The more we improve our performances, the better our chances of winning [become]. The players are getting fitter and getting sharper and stronger, even though we’re a few games behind the rest of them. In that respect, we hope to see an improvement and we probably need to, especially from the league games.”
Inevitably, the questions about transfers came up with Monday’s deadline as Ole responded, “Well, I’m not going to go into the transfer window now. Of course, all my focus is on Sunday’s game. The club is always working hard to strengthen the squad. If something happens – in or out – you’ll get to know.”
Our opponents Tottenham may have to do without Son Heung-min who picked up a hamstring in last week’s game against Southampton though Jose Mourinho is not completely ruling him out of this game. It is likely that Steven Bergwijn will be in the starting eleven and be playing on the left side. There is an injury concern to Giovani Lo Celso who was taken off at half time but is likely to be included in the squad if passed fit.
It remains to be seen if Dele Alli will be in the match day squad after not featuring in the previous league game against Southampton though he did get 45 minutes on Thursday against Maccabi Haifa.
Harry Kane will be leading the forward line and the United defence will have to be wary of the threat he poses to us.
Manchester United and Tottenham Form
United Premier League form: LW
United form (all competitions): LWWW
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form: LWD
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WWWDWW
- Manchester United are unbeaten in the past three league meetings against Spurs.
- United have scored in 15 successive Premier League matches.
- The last time Manchester United faced Brighton away then Spurs at home, it was the fateful 2018/19 season.
- Manchester United have not beaten Tottenham by more than one goal in eleven attempts (W6 D1 L4)
- Last season became the first time since 2014/15 United have not lost to Spurs at least once in a campaign
Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford and Martial.
This is an intriguing game for us as we look to kick start our season and go into the international break with confidence. Despite being in the midst of a chaotic schedule, United are starting to build up their match fitness having not had much of a pre-season. Though United have been great going forward and can counter with such pace through Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford and Martial, a question mark remains over the defence and whether they can keep out the Tottenham attack.
It will be a nervy game as both sides will not want to make any mistakes. But for us, the best form of defence is attack at the moment. I feel we can get at the Spurs defence and cause them a few problems.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham