The Premier League will brace itself for one of the most exciting contests this season when Manchester United play hosts to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The Red Devils will welcome their former boss Jose Mourinho for the first time but will be low on confidence, having failed to win any of their last three matches in all competitions.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have enjoyed a solid run of form under Mourinho. The Lilywhites have won three consecutive matches in all competitions under the Portuguese mastermind. And they will be confident of their chances of thwarting United as they continue their push for a top-four spot in the league table.
Solskjaer is expected to retain his trusted 4-2-3-1 setup. But, the Norwegian will be hoping for his side to play more pragmatically, having conceded needless goals over the past few matches. They have also lacked inspiration going forward, but they will continue to rely on the pace of players like Daniel James and Marcus Rashford.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have conceded far too many goals under Mourinho. The ex-Chelsea boss is likely to employ a defence-oriented system while the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min will be expected to provide the spark in the final third. They could also look to nullify the influence of Scott McTominay by marking him tightly in the middle, thereby dominating the midfield.
Paul Pogba is still not ready to make his return to the pitch while United will also miss out on the services of Nemanja Matic, who lacks match fitness. Even McTominay is a doubt due to his ankle injury, though we expect him to return in time to start in this match. The Scot could partner Fred, who is expected to deputise for the injured Pogba in the double-pivot.
Predicted lineup: David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young; Scott McTominay, Fred; Daniel James, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
Mourinho will continue to miss out on the services of Erik Lamela and Ben Davies while Hugo Lloris is also out with a long-term injury. Tanguy Ndombele, however, is expected to get a starting berth alongside Eric Dier in midfield while Jan Vertonghen could get the nod ahead of Davinson Sanchez in central defence.
Predicted Lineup: Paulo Gazzaniga; Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose; Eric Dier, Tanguy Ndombele; Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min; Harry Kane.
McTominay is sure to play a key role for the home side in the continued absence of Pogba. The Scot will be tasked with the responsibility of not only providing the security in the middle but to also distribute the ball all across the pitch. Rashford could be equally important for the Red Devils as far as their offensive department is considered.
For Tottenham, the onus will be on Kane to deliver the goods. The English international has scored only two goals in his last six matches and will be desperate to extend his scoring tally. His presence could cause a lot of problems for the United backline this week.
Man United win – 8/5
Draw – 5/2
Tottenham win – 28/17
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