Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
I don’t want to join the long line of doom-mongers circling the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but you have to look hard to find much comfort for the Whites at the moment.
And next up they face a resurgent Manchester United. Jose Mourinho needs to find a way to turn his team’s fortunes around, and when better to start than this weekend against his old club?
Premier League: Spurs vs Manchester United is a huge game for both teams and, to some extent, for similar reasons. Neither looks likely to secure a top-four place at the moment, but equally neither is out of the hunt. But the Red Devils are on the up while Spurs look in a state of disarray, and that’s why the latest SBOTOP news back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to get a result in North London.
How can Jose stop the rot?
With just one draw and five defeats in the last six games, Spurs are seven points off the top four, they are out of the FA Cup and surrendered meekly in Leipzig to exit the Champions League. It’s a far cry from last season when they reached the final of Europe’s premier competition.
The lone draw came away at Burnley in a game which was transformed when Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura climbed off the bench at half time. The 20 goals that Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son scored between them before they were both injured have been badly missed, but in the likes of Moura and Lo Celso Spurs have players of real quality.
Striker Dele Alli, who enjoyed a resurgence when Jose first arrived at Spurs, has said there’s no need for anyone to ‘get the violins out’ over Tottenham’s injury woes and he’s right. The last time Spurs beat these opponents Lucas Moura made hay in a 0-3 triumph at Old Trafford, scoring twice and pulling the Red Devils’ defence all over the place. Ironically, it was a result which increased the pressure on Mourinho as United head coach.
Alongside Alli and Lo Celso, and with composed midfielder Harry Winks in support, Moura can torment defences again. But Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp isn’t wildly optimistic that Jose can turn this around quickly, saying: “The last year or so they have gone backwards quite a way in all honesty – Jose has a big job to do in the summer.”
Red Devils on the right track
In contrast to Spurs, United have won four and drawn two of the last six. The Manchester Derby win last week was huge for the Red side of the city, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his side are definitely heading in the right direction.
The return from injury of young midfield star Scott McTominay has made a difference. He will be a key player, whether OGS continues to play solidly in defence and attack on the break, or if he decides his side can be more dominant. McTominay is equally competent in a defensive role or in the attack, as he showed with his cool finish in the derby.
The early form of Bruno Fernandes might encourage the United boss to be more expansive, but there is a doubt over who will play upfront. Marcus Rashford is sidelined for the long term while Anthony Martial is out of Thursday’s Europa League clash away to LASK, having injured himself during a collision with a post in last week’s big win!
The Red Devils have enjoyed an overwhelming advantage in the head-to-head Spurs vs Manchester United results, winning a colossal 40 games in the Premier League era, while Spurs have managed just nine victories.
Two goals from Rashford gave United a 2-1 win over Spurs at the beginning of December in Mourinho’s first defeat as the Whites’ manager. Alli briefly brought Spurs level with a brilliant strike, and his fitness against Rashford’s absence surely gives the hosts some confidence.
But they haven’t beaten the Red Devils since 2018 and the visitors are unbeaten in their last six away matches.
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