Sunday, March 24, 2019

Prediction: Tottenham vs Manchester United

Verdict: Tottenham win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer go head to head as Tottenham host Manchester United in a super Sunday showdown at Wembley.

Tottenham

Starting with Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side, coming off the back of a 1-0 win over Chelsea in their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg, the mood in Tottenham’s camp appears to be at a season-high. Now winning their last three matches across all competitions and with the chance to briefly leapfrog Manchester City to second spot in the Premier League table, it will be the hosts recent defensive record most impressing their Argentinian boss. Along with Harry Kane now finding the net in his last six matches on the bounce, the Lilywhites have now gone over 280 minuets without conceding a single goal in return. While some might have Tottenham tipped to be a title dark horse this season, fans around Wembley will know that they must improve on their recent record in the capital. Shipping three against Wolves in their last match on home soil, Spurs could lose consecutive Premier League home fixtures for the first time since May 2015.

Team News

Tottenham will welcome back a raft of first-team regulars, having made eight changes for the FA Cup win at Tranmere.

Eric Dier is still out following appendix surgery and Lucas Moura is an injury doubt, but Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen are back in training.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, after bringing in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace Jose Mourinho last month, few would have expected the Norwegian bosses immediate impact at Old Trafford. Picking up a 2-0 win over Reading and booking their spot in the fourth round of this year’s FA Cup, Manchester United have now won their last five matches on the bounce and the mood in the red half of Manchester is undoubtably at a season-high. Undoubtably facing the toughest test in his short tenure at United, the new boss at United will be more than aware of the visitors struggles against top-six sides, and Tottenham in particular. Suffering a 3-0 loss against Spurs back in August, the Reds have now lost their last three matches against the Lilywhites. One man who appears to be relishing Solskjaer’s arrival is midfielder Paul Pogba. Now scoring four goals in his last two Premier League outings, the World Cup winner has scored four goals and picked up three assists since Mourinho’s departure last month.

Team News

Paul Pogba is set to be available for Manchester United after he missed the FA Cup third round with a leg problem.

Eric Bailly remains suspended, while Chris Smalling could miss a seventh straight game because of a foot injury.

Marcos Rojo has returned to Argentina to continue his rehabilitation.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Spurs could win three consecutive top-flight meetings with Manchester United for the first time since 1960.
  • United have lost their last three Premier League matches at Spurs, having been defeated just three times in the previous 23 games (W12, D8).
  • Tottenham have lost just once in 11 matches in all competitions, winning nine and drawing one.
  • They could reach 51 points in this match, which would be at least two games quicker than in any other Premier League season.
  • Manchester United have won four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April.

Conclusion

While you can not doubt the immediate impact that Solskjaer has had on Manchester United, Sunday’s trip to Wembley might have come too soon for the Red Devils. Given their struggles against established top-six sides and the fact they have lost their last three matches against Spurs, we’re backing Mauricio Pochettino’s side to come away with the three points this weekend.

Verdict: Tottenham win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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