Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United Preview

Both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have had unremarkable campaigns and have fallen behind the top five teams in the Premier League table.

Tottenham were victorious in their recent EFL Cup match against Burnley, defeating them by a slender one-goal margin. However, their latest Premier League outing saw them losing 1-0 away at West Ham.

This was their fourth defeat in nine games this season and Tottenham have dropped to sixth in the table. With 15 points, they are just above their opponents on Manchester United.

Manchester United haven’t quite managed to get going in the Premier League despite a few strong statement victories here and there. Last weekend’s 5-0 humbling against arch-rivals Liverpool at the Old Trafford is expected to play on their minds as well.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future continues to be in turmoil although the side has decided to back him for the time being.

United need to mount a series of wins if they wish to reduce the deficit between them and the top three sides in Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City. Right now, however, they are a lowly seventh in the table.

Let’s discuss both the teams in greater detail below.


Tottenham were on top of the table three games into the season and everything seemed rosy in North London.

The table has turned within a couple of months and with four losses in the last six matches and new manager Nuno Espirito Santos will have to shake things up and handle this crisis well.

Spurs currently occupy the sixth position in the table with 15 points to their name. However, it’s the fact that only four teams in the league have scored fewer goals than them which explains Nuno’s headache. Tottenham and Manchester City were involved in a tug of war for Harry Kane in the summer but since being forced to continue at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the talismanic striker has managed just one league goal all season.

Last season, they failed to score a goal in 16% of the games. This year that figure has jumped to 33%. Tottenham also average just 10.4 shots per game this season which is the second-lowest in the entire league.

This explains why the avenues towards the goal have dried up for Tottenham and they are in desperate need of an offensive fix.


The players haven’t exactly clicked under manager Nuno Espirito Santos and time is running out for him to try experimentation. In this high-profile clash he might be tempted to play a backline of Emerson, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, and Sergio Reguilon.

In midfield, Ndombele and Hojbjerg are expected to be the engine while Giovanni Lo Celso adds creative flair. Upfront Lucas and Heung-Min Son will be tasked to stretch the play and to supply balls to Harry Kane in the middle.

Probable Playing XI (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris, Reguilon, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Emerson, Tanguy Ndombele, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Giovanni Lo Celso, Heung min Son, Lucas Moura, Harry Kane


Sunday’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Liverpool in front of the United faithful at Old Trafford might have brought manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer one step closer to the sack. For the moment, however, he still presides over the United dugout as rumours in the press float about Manchester United seeking Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino as his possible replacements.

In 13 games all season, the Red Devils have managed just one clean sheet. Only Watford, Newcastle United, and Norwich have conceded more goals than them in the Premier League.

The defence has looked sloppy and United not buying a defencive midfielder in the summer to go after their pursuit of Ronaldo has come back to haunt them.

Despite starting strong with plenty of goals, Cristiano’s sheen is starting to come off. The lack of offensive mobility and build-up he brings to the attack has hindered United’s natural rhythm and despite having a top-heavy offense, their issues at the back have made them extremely vulnerable.


Paul Pogba was sent off against Liverpool following a nasty tackle on Naby Keita. He will miss this game because of suspension.

There are doubts on Raphael Varane’s participation as well who had recently suffered a groin injury. Anthony Martial could make a case for himself as well.

Nemanja Matic and Fred might be played together in the absence of Paul Pogba and with Bruno Fernandes out of form and ineffective in large stretches of the game, Ole might even consider picking Jesse Lingard who has made a difference off the bench.

Probable Playing XI (4-3-3): David De Gea, Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Jesse Lingard/Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo