- Sanidhya Bhardwaj
Despite being criticized for not signing a single player in the transfer window, Spurs have done everything right in the first two games to grab all six points. But the situation at the Old Trafford is much different than London, as the Red Devils lost 3-2 to Brighton in a shambolic defensive display.
Spurs now travel to Manchester for their first big game of the season. And while Pochettino’s men will be eager to continue their winning momentum, Jose Mourinho needs to get his team back on track before it is too late.
The game will be played at the Old Trafford on Tuesday, 28th August at 12:30 AM IST. Indian viewers can watch the game on Star Sports or Hotstar.
As mentioned before, Tottenham has won both the league games so far, with a 2-1 victory against Newcastle in the opening game and 3-1 against Fulham. Harry Kane broke his August hoodoo against Fulham while Lucas Moura also scored his first Premier League goal. Kieran Trippier continued his World Cup form with an exquisite free-kick.
The story is much different for Manchester United as they have already dropped three points. United won their first game against Leicester City, but lost 3-2 against Brighton on Sunday. Lukaku returned to the league with a goal against Brighton but the form of his back four will be a big headache for Mourinho.
United missed the services of Alexis Sanchez in their last game due to injury. And despite the Chilean being back in the training, his availability for the upcoming game is still unknown. The likes of Valencia and Matic are also back the training, which will be a huge boost for the Red Devils. United have a few more defensive problems as Marcos Rojo and new signing Diogo Dalot will be unavailable due to injuries.
Eric Bailly had a difficult game against Brighton and his place might be in danger with Chris Smalling in the dugout. Andreas Pereira is also likely to sit out against Spurs after Matic’s recovery. Lukaku will lead the attack for United but who will support him on the wings is a big question for Mourinho. Anthony Martial was given a chance in the last game but his below average performance and Sanchez’s injury means Maruos Rashford is likely to start.
Pochettino will be without his star forward, Heung-min Son, who is currently representing South Korea in the Asian Games. Other than the 26-year old, Spurs should not have any problems picking up their best XI, despite a few injuries. The Lilywhites are likely to start with the same XI which beat Fulham 3-1 last week.
Manchester United will be eager to solve their defensive woes before they face an attacking Spurs team. The back four of Shaw, Lindelof, Bailly/Smalling and Valencia cannot afford to make any mistakes against the likes of Kane and Alli. The midfield will be revived by the return of Matic as it will allow Pogba and Fred to play freely. 4-3-3 with the ball and 4-3-2-1 while defending is how Mourinho likes it and Monday night should be nothing different.
De Gea (GK), Shaw, Bailly/Smalling, Lindelof, Valencia, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Mata, Lukaku, Rashford/Sanchez
It is difficult to predict a team when they’re not performing well, but it’s completely opposite when they are in a top gear like Spurs. The Londoners are likely to start the same team at the Old Trafford with three in the back with Dier/Dembele in the defensive midfield. Kane and Lucas Moura will lead the attack with Trippier, Ben Davies, Eriksen and Dele Alli behind them. (3-1-4-2)
Lloris (GK), Sanchez, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dembele/Dier, Trippier, Davies, Eriksen, Alli, Lucas, Kane
Can Manchester United stop Tottenham’s attack? Answer this question and you have your prediction for the game. At the moment, it looks difficult for Mourinho to stop Pochenttino’s winning momentum. I say, Spurs to win 3-1.
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