- The Special One Returns to Old Trafford as the Humble One
- Ole needs a win with a tough run of fixtures ahead
Ole’s Man Utd will host Jose Mourinho’s Spurs On Wednesday night 4th December 2019 in an explosive PL top six battle. Both sides are seeking maximum points to have a realistic chance at top 4- with the added spice of Mourinho seeking revenge at Old Trafford.
Man Utd Hot in Attack, Cold in Defence
Recent form: WLWDD
The Red Devils are not in good form, mainly down to their inability to see off games- the match against Aston Villa is a case and point. Ole still has not figured out the best style of play or tactics for his young side, and his selections are often confusing- with fans questioning how he could play 5 defenders against Sheff Utd. However, Utd are unbeaten in the last five games in the Premier League at Home, and no top-6 side has beaten them this season, so this should be an interesting game.
Ole will have one eye on the match against Man City this weekend, which is an added complication for his team selection and style of play. Whatever he decides he must avoid back-to-back defeats at all cost, so finishing in the top 6 does not seem like a mountainous challenge. The key man to watch for the Red Devils is the in-form Marcus Rashford- the England attacker is finally proving his doubters wrong. He will be looking to down Tottenham for the second time in a row, albeit without Paul Pogba.
Recent form: LDDWW
Under their new manager Spurs look re-energised, and the quartet of Son, Lucas, Alli and Kane will strike fear in the heart of any defence. Indeed Charlie Nicholas of SkySports is backing Spurs for this one as they look alive again. Tottenham have won three games on the bounce, scoring a total of 10 goals, but they have shipped in 2 goals per game. Unlike his counterpart, the Portuguese has a sure 4-2-3-1 counterattacking formation, and the squad he has always wished for. Nevertheless he is still looking for how best to fit in Sissoko, Dier, Eriksen and Ndombele into the first eleven.
Mourinho will be looking to tighten up at the back and revert to a counterattacking system based on a solid defensive block, especially because of the pace of Dan James and Rashford on both flanks. A major boost for Spurs is return of the real Dele Alli (and not his brother). His positional play and off-the-ball movement will surely confuse Utd’s center-backs. We expect a very tactical but exciting game. This is a clash of the titans.
Team News and Key Battle Areas
For Man Utd, Scott Mctominay (back from an ankle injury) should return to his usual position. While Pogba is reportedly back in training, but expected to sit this game out in preparation for City on Saturday. Everyone is available for selection including Phil Jones. As for Spurs, it is likely Mourinho will go with Harry Winks in the base of the midfield, as his dynamism is needed to cut off Utd attacks and quickly launch counters. Apart from Lloris, everyone is fit for selection.
Besides the midfield being a central battle area, the left flank of both teams has been identified as a weakness, and trust that the wingers will be looking to exploit it. Danny Rose is no match for Dan James’s speed, while Lucas Moura/Son will take advantage of inexperienced Brandon Williams, or slow Ashley Young.
Surely everyone will be expecting goals galore in this game as both defences seem to be leaky in recent times. However, prepare for a pragmatic approach from both managers. Counterattack will be the rule of the night. It might just be one of the games of the season.
Go to our website and check what our experts have predicted for the game. You don’t want to miss out!
Kenny Obi (Twitter: @chigiviews)