Published on 18 Oct 2022 3:57 pm (UK Time)
In recent times, Manchester United vs Tottenham has produced some truly sensational matches of football, with the last four iterations of this fixture in the Premier League producing a combined total of nineteen goals.
With Spurs’ attack, especially Harry Kane, thriving and the Red Devils playing expansive football under Erik Ten Hag, this could be a spectacular game for the neutrals.
Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview
Wednesday 8:15 pm
Stadium Old Trafford
Referee Simon Hooper
Both sides come into this game in relatively good form, with Manchester United winning three out of their last five Premier League games and Tottenham winning four.
Their 6-3 defeat at the hands of Manchester City threatened to undo the progress the Red Devils had made under Ten Hag, however a win against Everton and a draw, which on another day could have been a win, against Newscastle United have steadied the ship at the Manchester club.
For Tottenham, their performances may not have been as impressive as that of Arsenal and Manchester City, but they are getting the job done. Their 3-1 defeat to the Gunners on October 1 is their only defeat of the season and they will be feeling confident coming into this game.
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However, the head-to-head record between these two sides in the Premier League does not paint the best of pictures for the North London club.
Manchester United have won their last three Premier League games against Spurs, and Antonio Conte has lost all three of his away games against the Red Devils in the competition.
If history is anything to go by, this fixture will be incredibly diffcult for both the players and the manager of Tottenham, and if they were to get the win it would be a huge statement to the rest of the league.
The Red Devils are expected to be without Harry Maguire (thigh) and Anthony Martial (back) who both missed recent fixtures through injury. Christian Eriksen could return to the side after being sidelined at the weekend through illness.
Antonio Conte has confirmed that Richarlison (calf) will be unavilable for this game. Dejan Kulusevski (thigh) is still recovering from his injury but could be available, whilst Emerson Royal will continue to be suspended after recieving a red card in the North London derby.
Erik Ten Hag’s men will have to find a way to unlock Tottenham’s defence, and that will not be an easy thing to do. Spurs’ defensive system is extremely effective, with Newcastle United being the only team in the Premier League to concede less goals than Conte’s side.
Typically, Christian Eriksen would be selected as Manchester United’s most creative player, however, with the Dane a potential doubt for this game, the creative onus will be trasnferred to Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese midfielder has endured a slow start to the campaign, scoring just once and assisting once in the Premier League so far this season. However, Tottenham’s five-at-the-back formation often affords their oppostion’s midfielders time on the ball, which a player of Fernandes’ quality could take advantage of.
If the 28-year-old is able to use that space to play dangerous, penetrative passes into United’s forwards, then they stand a far greater chance of creating good goal-scoring oppurtunites and winning the game.
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Harry Kane being Tottenham’s key play in this game almost needs no justifcation. The 29-year-old has long been one of the best strikers in world football, however, in recent times, he has developed into one of the best playmakers too.
He is having a tremednous start to the season, having scored nine goals and providing one assist in just ten Premier League appearances and could trouble a Man United defence that has shipped seven goals in their last three Premier League games.
With Antonio Conte confirming that Richarlison will miss the game, Dejan Kulusevski being a major doubt and Son Hueng-Min’s form being volatile, Harry Kane is by far and away Spurs’ biggest goal threat in this game.
But, even if the striker doesn’t get on the scoresheet, his excellent hold up play and ability to quickly release his teammates with his superb passing range will be of great benefit to his side on the counter-attack.
Manchester United are likely to dominate the ball both because that is how Erik Ten Hag wants his team to play, but also due to the fact that Antonio Conte’s Tottenham are more than happy to concede possession.
These two opposing approaches to the game come with challanges and the result of this match will be determined by which side deals with those challanges more effectively.
For the Red Devils, they will be tasked with breaking down a very organised defensive unit in the form of Spurs’ back five, and for Tottenham, the question is whether or not they can take advantage of their chances on the counter, something they failed to do against their bitter rivals Arsenal.
It will be a fascinating spectacle and I expect Tottenham to edge an away victory by a narrow margin.
Manchester United 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur