Jose Mourinho faces his former employers when his Tottenham Hotspur side travel to Manchester United on Sunday.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The Red Devils will be looking to build on their 3-2 win at Brighton last weekend, while the north Londoners will be eager to get back to winning ways after drawing 1-1 at home to Newcastle. When these sides met at Old Trafford in December, Marcus Rashford’s brace earned a brilliant 2-1 win as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed Mourinho his first defeat as Spurs boss.
Will it be another unhappy return to Old Trafford for the Portuguese tactician? Find out what our Editor thinks!
Manchester United vs Tottenham | Sunday 4 October | Old Trafford | 17:30
Man United 19/20
Manchester United will look to take advantage of tired legs when they face a Tottenham side who have played three games in six days as they target their first home win of the season.
The Red Devils suffered a humiliating 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in their opening fixture but managed to beat Brighton 3-2 at the Amex Stadium last weekend, but they were lucky to claim all three points as the Seagulls hit the woodwork five times and also scored their winning goal from the penalty spot, awarded on a VAR review after the final whistle had blown.
United’s performances have been underwhelming and Solskjaer must ensure that his troops put on a much more convincing showing this time around and play with the swagger that characterised the late season sprint which sneaked them into the top four in the last campaign.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last three Premier League meetings with the north Londoners, winning twice with Marcus Rashford scoring in both of those wins. Look out for what price Hollywoodbets have him as an anytime scorer.
Majority of United fans have expressed their desire to see Donny van de Beek start ahead of Paul Pogba against Spurs on Sunday. The Dutchman is yet to start a league game for the Reds despite scoring against Palace after being summoned from the bench, while Pogba’s performances in his first two outings have left a lot to be desired.
United need a win and they need to get it in style. That’s the only way the air of negativity surrounding the club due to an awful transfer window can be lifted even slightly.
Mourinho’s moans are not always met with the most sympathetic ears, but his complaints over the fixture schedule – and the potential danger it causes to his players – are valid.
Two days after their unfortunate 1-1 home draw with Newcastle United, Spurs played Chelsea in the Carabao Cup before facing Maccabi Haifa two days later in the Europa League, leaving Mourinho’s men with three days to prepare for Sunday’s crunch clash with United.
To make matters worse, Mourinho, who is already without Gareth Bale, won’t have Heung-min Son available with the influential attacker facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury against Newcastle.
Son’s absence is a huge blow for Spurs as the 28-year-old had been in superb form, scoring four times during the 5-2 win at Southampton and started brightly against Newcastle, hitting the post twice before being forced off.
With Bale and Son unavailable and Dele Alli – who scored in December’s 2-1 loss at Old Trafford – out of favour, Mourinho will rely on star striker Harry Kane to bag the goals and fire his side to victory.
The North London outfit have won one, drawn one and lost one from their opening three Premier League matches this season – already placing them under pressure to deliver better results.
Spurs face a couple of problems but after seeing Crystal Palace deservedly pick up maximum points at Old Trafford, coupled with United’s unconvincing performance at Brighton, Mourinho’s men will fancy their chances of victory.
Prediction: Manchester United Win & Both Teams To Score (5/2)
United’s performances have been underwhelming with many of their players looking tired. But to be fair, they did start their season a week later than most teams. Solskjaer will know his side have to step up a few gears to secure maximum points and with Spurs’ crazy fixture schedule and Bale and Son unavailable, I’m confident United will come out on top, though I still think Mourinho’s men will get on the scoresheet.