Tottenham vs Man Utd: Preview | Confirmed Team News | Expected Line-ups | Prediction
Tottenham host Manchester United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon as both teams look to secure their place in the top four
Tottenham host Manchester United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon as both teams look to secure their place in the top four of the Premier League.
The last time these two teams met at Old Trafford in October, Tottenham came away victorious with a 6-1 win. Anthony Martial picked up a red card in the first half of the game, leaving Utd battling with 10 men unsuccessfully.
Nevertheless, as we near the end of the season, Utd have found themselves in a comfortable second place position in the table. Whereas Tottenham currently sit in seventh place, 11 points behind Utd.
A win for Tottenham could see them move into fifth place, depending on the results of other games over the weekend. On the other hand, a win for Utd would secure their place in the top four as well as putting some pressure on current leaders, Man City, who dropped three points against Leeds on Saturday.
With the stakes high for both sides, the foundations have been set for an exciting game.
Tottenham will be without full backs Ben Davies and Matt Doherty who are both still out with injuries. Everyone else should be fit and available for the fixture.
In his pre-match press conference Jose Mourinho said, “Matt Doherty and Ben Davies are the only players who are not available, they are still injured”. Both Serge Aurier and Toby Alderweireld returned to training this week, so they will both be available to feature.
Man Utd will be missing Eric Bailly who is still in the Ivory Coast and Anthony Martial who is out with a knee injury. Other doubts include Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba.
Rashford was brought off during Thursday’s game due to an ongoing ankle injury. In his pre-match press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “He’s an athletic boy, he’s a fit boy, strong boy, you can see tonight when he goes into headers and challenges, he can look after himself.”
Shaw was subbed off at half-time during Sunday’s game. Nevertheless, there is a chance this was done more as a precaution, after Shaw picked up a yellow card in the first-half. Solskjaer confirmed that he will need to properly assess both players on Friday once they returned to Manchester, stating “I don’t know until then, but I hope both Luke and Marcus will be ready after tonight, yeah”.
Speaking about Pogba, Solskjaer confirmed that he had a “little niggle” during Thursday’s game. However, he should be okay for the Spurs clash.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Rodon, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Son, Lo Celso, Lucas, Kane
Following Spurs exit from the Europa League, all of the players have been able to have a week’s rest from their last game against Newcastle. It would therefore be expected that there will not be too many changes made to the team.
As Aurier returned to training this week, he may come straight back into the team at right-back. The only other change from their game last weekend may see Son coming into the starting line-up in place of Vinicius.
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, James, Cavani.
With David de Gea having played on Thursday, Dean Henderson will be likely to start in goal against Spurs.
Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay are all suspended from Thursday’s second-leg fixture in the Europa League, therefore they will most likely all start against Spurs.
Fred was rested on Thursday night so it is highly likely that he will come into the team to partner McTominay in midfield. Bruno Fernandes will almost certainly start as the third midfielder, with the Portuguese international rarely getting any time to rest.
If fit, Rashford would be expected to start on the left wing, however Pogba is another option for Solskjaer if he cannot play. Dan James may start on the right to offer Utd some pace up front and to help out defensively. Edinson Cavani did not play the full 90 minutes on Thursday, ensuring the Argentinian would be available for this fixture.
Mason Greenwood, Donny van de Beek, Amad Diallo and Juan Mata – who recently returned from injury – will all be available from the bench, giving Solskjaer the opportunity to make some tactical changes throughout the match.
With Tottenham having had the week to prepare and being in desperate need of a win, it is expected that they will start the game strongly. Contrastingly, Utd have had no preparation time and only really need a draw in order to secure their place in the top four. It would therefore not be surprising if the Reds were to start the game slowly, relying on their counter-attacking threat and playing a defensive game.
However, taking into account Utd’s current position in the league, alongside their impressive away form – not being beaten in the Premier League since last January – the Reds are statistically more likely to come away from London victorious. Therefore, the score prediction is:
Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 2 Manchester United
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