Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: English Premier League: Tottenham vs Man United

English Premier League: Tottenham vs Man United


Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s Manchester United were the form side before proceedings were put on hold with the January addition of Bruno Fernandes helping the team gain true momentum. The Red Devils manager had come under heavy scrutiny and many have questioned his tactics or lack thereof but in his team’s last performance, the “Baby Faced Assassin” defeated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium and will be taking aim at Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham next, with the hopes of doing the league double over both Guardiola and Mourinho in the same season.

United’s first trip to the Tottenham Stadium will mark the 58th different away venue that they’ve played in the Premier League as well as Mourinho squaring off against his former employers. Mourinho was the unluckiest manager in the league with 50 percent of his first team sidelined with injuries three months ago, but many have returned to full training three weeks ago and the Portuguese maestro will be most happy about his South Korean talisman Son Heung-Min and club captain Harry Kane both being fully fit. The pair have netted 20 of Spurs' 47 league goals between them.

Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are United’s star players that have also returned to the fray and fans are excited about them joining up with Fernandes and Anthony Martial who were behind United’s driving force enjoying an upturn in form. 

With all the excitement of returning star players and Premier League action returning to our screens, this clash still has Mourinho masterclass written all over it. There will be two intervals at the 30th and 75th-minute marks for water breaks that will hinder momentum and give extra time for Mourinho to be tactically astute. Don’t forget about the other new rule added, there will be five substitutes permitted at three different intervals to also effect the nature of a free-flowing football match.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports
Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


English Premier League 
Friday 19 June   
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium  
21:15

To Win (90 Mins)
Tottenham 37/20
Draw 24/10
Man United 15/10 

Tottenham
During their last league encounter at Turf Moor in a 1-1 draw against a very game Burnley team, Tottenham were forced to field youngster Oliver Skipp and unfit Tanguey Ndombele as a midfield pair and it was an absolute disaster.

There was no dynamism and creativity to their game coupled with the lack of an out and out striker to spearhead the attack. The industrious Burnley midfield ran the duo ragged and record-signing Ndombele was replaced with Giovanni Lo Celso at the half-time mark.

Moussa Sissoko is one of Mourinho’s favourites and his return from a knee injury could find him filling the gaping hole in the deeper lying midfield areas, allowing Lo Celso license to operate in a role that Fernandes occupies for United.

English midfielder Dele Alli will miss the clash after being suspended for one match and was fined by the FA for improper comments made on social media. Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn will look to cause problems to United’s defence with their scintillating pace on the counter.

Mourinho knows that a loss could potentially leave too much to do in order to qualify for next seasons European competitions and his match tactics usually against “Big 6” teams are to get numbers behind the ball and “park the bus” while hitting the opposition with pacey counters, eyeing a close victory and keeping a clean sheet.

Within his ranks, he has some great defenders that could all feature whether coming off the bench or starting the game. Serge Aurier provides strength and pace at right back, while a pair or trio could be chosen centrally between Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez.

Japhet Tanganga has impressed in his breakthrough season and has been given some man-marking jobs previously under this manager, we could see him having to try negating Rashford’s speed down United’s right flank.

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Manchester United
Fernandes was proving to be a terrific signing and endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful with silky moves and skills that brought them to their feet during his eight-game unbeaten run since arriving and quickly had fans chanting, “Bruno, Bruno, Bruno, our Portuguese magnifico”.

The playmaker had struck up a wonderful understanding with Martial who netted four times in the last five appearances. The influential midfielder has lifted United’s fortunes by directing the brand of football to a more direct and attacking way of playing. The key to resurgence has been a change in attitude to a winning mentality.

The glimpses of sheer quality that Fernandes has shown and what Pogba is capable of has fans believing that their team is on the right track. With time we will have to wait to see if these two creative and attacking midfield players can co-exist and striker up a partnership.

Combinations of Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay or Fred could anchor the midfield, giving Pogba and Fernandes enough cover in defensive situations and consistently feeding them the ball to create havoc on the opposition defence.

Odion Ighalo and wonderkid Mason Greenwood could make cameo appearances. The depth in the squad will be tested seeing as there is a match to be played every three or four days.

If there’s anyone that needed a break it would have to be Spanish shot stopper David De Gea who came under heavy scrutiny. His blundering mistake against Everton left the goalkeeper with the unenviable record of the most mistakes made leading to a goal this campaign.

The mistake brought unwanted attention and slightly took away from the fact that together with club captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams, the Red Devils kept eight clean sheets in 10 games.

Verdict:  Draw (24/10)
These teams were trying to get match ready by playing friendly games in the past few weeks but realistically it will take a while to sharpen their skills and get back to where they left off. Both sets of players will give everything and I’m expecting 10 substitutes to be used in total to try and prevent injuries. These sides are tipped to cancel out each other and share the spoils. If you’re brave, have a punt on Correct Score 1-1 at 5/1 odds, but my money will be on the draw at 24/10.

Written by Bryan Naicker


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