Spurs v Manchester United – Premier League Preview
A resurgent Manchester United come to Wembley Stadium on Sunday in what will be the first real test of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s management of the Red Devils. Spurs are still title contenders and could make a real statement of intent with a win against the in-form United as, since his appointment, Solskjaer has yet to see his side drop points.
Spurs are also in good form themselves heading into the encounter. Mauricio Pochettino’s team have won fifteen of their last eighteen matches in all competitions and are still yet to concede a goal in 2019. They do not have the added luxury that Manchester United have however, as whilst Spurs were playing Chelsea at Wembley in the Carabao Cup, the United first team were at a training camp in Dubai.
Spurs v Manchester United Team News
TEAM NEWS:@ericdier (appendicitis) has started to join in with some team training sessions and remains unavailable.@LucasMoura7 (knee) is being assessed ahead of Sunday’s match.@VictorWanyama (knee) is progressing to late stages of rehabilitation.#COYS pic.twitter.com/GJ69Nd0h5x
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 11, 2019
There will be late fitness tests for Lucas Moura, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele. Moura will be assessed ahead of the match on Sunday and is the most likely to play a part out of the three. Belgian duo Vertonghen and Dembele are back in training but Pochettino has admitted that they are short of match fitness and so if they are involved it will more than likely be from the bench.
Elsewhere Eric Dier has returned to training for Spurs but has been ruled out of the weekend whereas Victor Wanyama is in the final stages of his rehabilitation as he seeks to return to first team action.
For the visitors, Solskjaer confirmed in his press conference that Paul Pogba will be available after picking up a knock in Manchester United’s last match. However Marcos Rojo has returned to Argentina to recover from a recently sustained injury.
With Eric Bailly suspended and Chris Smalling unlikely to return from ankle injury, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones are expected to be the centre back pairing on Sunday. There is a chance also that Ashley Young will be picked at right back with Antonio Valencia struggling for form whereas Solskjaer has a choice of who to start between Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez.
After three goals as a substitute, Romelu Lukaku may also be in contention to start up front against Spurs.
Spurs v Manchester United Predicted Team
Elsewhere, the Spurs back four may be rotated, with Juan Foyth and Ben Davies coming in for Davinson Sanchez and Danny Rose.
In midfield, Pochettino has limited options and we think he may stick with the same players that started against Chelsea midweek. Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura are the most likely to come into the side if Pochettino does make changes however, with Heung-min Son playing in his last match before heading to the Asian Cup, it is likely that he will be utilised from the start.
What the Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“It’s going to be a very nice game. Always Tottenham vs Manchester, every time that we play are always exciting, very competitive games. Of course this Sunday it will be a very nice game to watch. It will be tough, I think Manchester United arrive in a very good level, with very good momentum. Of course they’ve had more time to prepare for this game. They arrive from Dubai and we were involved in the Carabao Cup semi-final, but we are going to arrive in a very good condition. We will arrive fresh too to compete on Sunday in our best way. Of course it’s going to be a tough game for both sides.” (football.london)
On Paul Pogba:
“When you play in this Premier League, every weekend, or every three days as we’ve been playing in the last few months, always it’s about the opponent have a few players that can make the difference. Pogba is a very talented player, a great player of course. But it’s not only Pogba or Hazard, there are different players around. Of course they are special players. Manchester United have a great squad with great players with a lot of quality. Of course we are not going to be only focused on Pogba, we need to be focused on the whole team not just one player.” (football.london)
Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“Every single game you get tested, but this is against top, top side. If we want to go closer and get past them we need a good performance and a good result. Every single day and every single game will get us closer and we will get more understanding about how we want to play.”
“The last five games haven’t been too bad but there is always things to work on, the relationship between players, the cohesion and the understanding so hopefully we will see a positive team.”
“You always adapt to any opponent, we play one of the best teams in the league, have to be aware of their strengths but we need to attack teams, that’s our strength as well. Going forward, attacking both as a team and the way we played, we won’t get as many chances to attack against these as we’ve had before so we’ve got to be ready for when we got hold of the ball and play well with it because Wembley is a decent sized pitch.” (Manchester Evening News)
Spurs v Manchester United One to Watch
Pochettino was asked about Paul Pogba specifically in his press conference and he is also our pick of the Manchester United players to watch. The dynamic midfielder had a high-profile spat with former manager Jose Mourinho, who benched him on numerous occasions and stripped him of his vice captaincy. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has breathed new life into the World Cup winner and he is starting to show the form which led to his record transfer to Man United. Pogba has impressed offensively and defensively in recent weeks and the Spurs midfield will have to be at their best to contain him.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 10, 2019
Spurs v Manchester United Referee
Mike Dean will be the referee on Sunday. He has refereed Spurs twice this season in the Premier League, in their home win over Cardiff and their defeat at the Emirates Stadium to Arsenal. In the sixteen Premier League matches he has officiated in this season he has dished out 68 yellow cards, nine red cards and five penalties.
Spurs v Manchester United Predicted Score
It should be a really entertaining match at Wembley with both teams going for the win for different reasons. Spurs will feel that victory will keep them very much in the title race whereas a win for the Red Devils will make them believe that a place in top four is possible. Spurs worked really hard in their recent match against Chelsea and that could begin to show in the latter stage of the encounter.
Our prediction is Spurs 2-2 Manchester United
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