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Man Utd vs Tottenham: Preview, match stats, team news, line-ups and prediction

Manchester United will aim for victory in a bid to revenge their first-leg defeat when they host Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Luke Shaw Man Utd

Manchester United will aim for victory in a bid to revenge their first-leg defeat when they host Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday

Manchester United’s resurgence, marked by a comeback against Aston Villa, was short-lived, debunked as a mere blip rather than a turning point. Nottingham Forest emerged victorious, exposing United’s return to their lackluster form at the City Ground.

Despite a recent 3-2 victory over Villa, United’s performance plummeted in a forgettable first half. The match gained intensity with Nicolas Dominguez, representing Nuno Espirito Santo’s team, skillfully finding the bottom corner, highlighting United’s inability to sustain their positive momentum

The visitors, previously goal-shy in their last three Premier League away matches, found a lifeline through a calamitous Matt Turner pass.

This blunder allowed Alejandro Garnacho to assist Marcus Rashford’s equalizer. Despite this gift, United faltered, conceding again as Morgan Gibbs-White curled in a counter-attack goal, intensifying the pressure on Erik ten Hag.

At halftime, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Dave Brailsford found little to discuss, both observing a lackluster display. Ferguson, seated with INEOS’s director of sport, and United’s director of football, John Murtough, faced a dreary performance. 

The decision to substitute Kobbie Mainoo, a standout performer this season, at halftime for Scott McTominay surprised United fans. Mainoo, who played alongside Christian Eriksen in the first half, contributed defensively, limiting Forest’s creative opportunities. However, the dynamics shifted after the break.

It’s uncertain whether Mainoo’s presence would have altered the outcome when Forest took the lead in the 64th minute. Notably, McTominay found himself out of position when Gonzalo Montiel created an opportunity for Dominguez to score, taking advantage of Raphael Varane’s misjudgment.

United had previously fired blanks against Bournemouth, Liverpool, and West Ham United and seemed destined to set an unwanted record of four successive Premier League away games without scoring until Matt Turner’s blunder.

Forest’s goalkeeper attempted a risky pass instead of clearing the ball, leading to Garnacho intercepting and setting up Rashford’s goal. Turner redeemed himself with a strong save against Christian Eriksen, inadvertently facilitating Morgan Gibbs-White’s winning goal on the subsequent counter-attack.

On the bright side, The Red Devils secured a spot in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round by clinching a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium. Diogo Dalot showcased finesse with a curled goal in the first half, following United’s dominance.

The team controlled much of the play, with Rasmus Hojlund, Scott McTominay, and Marcus Rashford all posing threats. Alejandro Garnacho added to the excitement by striking the crossbar.

Victory was secured after United were awarded a penalty as Bruno Fernandes sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to double United’s tally.  The win sets up a fourth-round tie against either Newport County or Eastleigh.

United will now turn their attention to the Premier League in what will be a blockbuster clash. While Tottenham will aim for a win to usurp Arsenal into fourth place, United will also aim to secure victory to continue their push into a spot in Europe next season.

The visitors, Tottenham, concluded 2023 on a positive note, bouncing back from the disappointment of a recent loss to Brighton & Hove Albion by defeating an in-form Bournemouth at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pape Matar Sarr, Heung-min Son, and Richarlison all contributed goals, securing a return to the winning column for Ange Postecoglou’s team.

Despite a late consolation goal from Alex Scott off the bench, Bournemouth’s impressive winning streak came to an end at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham continued their positive momentum into the new year by securing a victory against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley side in the FA Cup.

The highlight of the match was Pedro Porro’s screamer from 35 years out which proved to be the only solitary goal in the match, securing Tottenham’s place in the fourth round with a 1-0 win on Friday night.

Entering the game in good form, Spurs faced a challenge from Burnley, raising the prospect of a replay. However, Pedro Porro seized an opportunity, capitalizing on a poor attempt to play from the back, advancing and netting the decisive goal. Despite late opportunities, Burnley couldn’t stage a comeback, resulting in their elimination from the FA Cup’s third round.

Following a productive FA Cup encounter in the recent week, Tottenham will now hope to continue the momentum when they travel to Old Trafford as victory could propel them to third or fourth place if Aston Villa lose at Everton.

Match details

Location: Manchester, England

Stadium: Old Trafford

Date: Sunday 14 January, 2024.

Kick-off time: 4.30 pm BST

Referee: John Brooks

Assistant referees: Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh

VAR: Chris Kavanagh

Tickets: Official channels are sold out but match going supporters can still buy Man Utd vs Tottenham tickets through reputed reseller sites such as

Match stats and head-to-head

• Man Utd secured victories in three of their last four Premier League home matches.

• Tottenham faced challenges away from home, failing to win three of their last four Premier League away games.

• In three of Tottenham’s last four Premier League away matches, both teams scored.

• Tottenham conceded at least two goals in three of their last four Premier League away games.

• Richarlison will be looking to step up in the absence of Son Heung-Min, having found the net in four of Tottenham’s last five Premier League games.

• In their recent encounter, Tottenham ended a five-game winless run against Man Utd (four losses and one draw), with a 2:0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, courtesy of goals from Pape Matar Sarr and a Lisandro Martinez own goal.

• United have experienced setbacks, losing nine of their 20 league matches this season—equalling last season’s total losses—and currently trail nine points behind the top four, having played more games than most rivals.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez is reportedly targeting this game for his potential return from injury, although starting might be unlikely given his extended absence. A potential return is anticipated for Luke Shaw, alongside Christian Eriksen, Harry Maguire, Antony, and Anthony Martial.

Casemiro and Mason Mount are expected to miss the game, while Andre Onana will make his final appearance before heading off to join the Cameroonian National Team for The African Cup of Nations.

On the Spurs side, Ben Davies is likely to be absent due to a hamstring injury suffered in the Carabao Cup win over Burnley. There’s hope for Giovani Lo Celso’s participation, although Manor Solomon is expected to miss out.

Christian Romero, James Maddison, and Alejo Véliz remain long-term absentees after suffering lengthy injuries.

New signings, Timo Werner will hope to make his debut after joining Spurs on a loan deal from RB Leipzig while Radu Dragusin could feature at centre-back following Davies’ hamstring injury.


The Red Devils have displayed significant inconsistency, recently suffering a loss to Nottingham Forest but managing to advance past Wigan in the FA Cup. Given their variable performances this season, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness an impressive showing at Old Trafford, reminiscent of their performance against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

Erik Ten Hag’s side is currently in eighth place and outside European qualification spots and would be eager to lead his team to secure all three points at The Theatre of Dreams.

Tottenham approach this match following a 3-1 home win over Bournemouth in round 20. Despite their success at home, Spurs have been less convincing outside their home turf, with two losses in their last four away visits in the Premier League.

A victory in this match would exert significant pressure on bitter rivals Arsenal, potentially pushing them out of the top four before their next game.

Considering the pattern of United’s season, a bounce-back performance is anticipated after the recent defeat to Forest. However, Spurs, bolstered by the addition of Werner, will still need extra motivation following the absence of their captain, Son Heung-Min.

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