Both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they lock horns this weekend.
Manchester United will be hoping to alleviate some pressure after the recent run of poor results when they face off against Tottenham Hotspur away from home in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
The Red Devils are firmly under the pump after going four games without a win in the Premier League – a run that includes a 4-2 loss to Leicester City and the harrowing 5-0 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool, at home last weekend. As a result, Manchester United have slipped down to seventh place in the table, eight points off of leaders Chelsea and three below West Ham United in fourth.
The recent results and the listless performances have placed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under the spotlight. The Norwegian seems to continue enjoying the faith of the club, but with sections of fans turning on him, he will need to spark a turnaround at the earliest. But, Tottenham Hotspur will pose a tricky proposition for the 20-time English champions on Saturday.
Tottenham, themselves, have not been doing all too well, with their form deteriorating after the positive start under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo. After back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Vitesse Arnhem (Europa Conference League) and West Ham (Premier League), the Lilywhites returned to winning ways this week, beating Burnley 1-0 in the Carabao Cup and will hope to carry that momentum forward.
Just a point and a place above Manchester United in the table, the north London giants will be aiming to bag all three points and prove their top-four credentials while heaping further misery on a direct rival. It promises to be a crucial encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with plenty at stake for both teams. Ahead of this enticing match-up, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
Ryan Sessegnon has been ruled out of the contest for Tottenham, while youngster Bryan Gil is also a doubt due to an injury. Other than that, Nuno Espirito Santo has a full squad at his disposal for the visit of Manchester United. Tottenham will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as usual, with club captain Hugo Lloris taking his place between the sticks.
"We know exactly who we're going to face, and we're going to face a very good team"
Nuno's press conference 👇
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 29, 2021
Cristian Romero and Eric Dier ought to be the two centre-backs for the Lilywhites, with the duo set to be flanked by the full-back pair of Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon. Both of them will have the licence to push forward regularly and provide attacking support. When they do so, the onus will be on the holding midfielders, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp, to provide defensive cover.
The creative burden will likely be shouldered by Tanguy Ndombele, who is in line to start as the No. 10 for Tottenham ahead of Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli. The Frenchman ought to be flanked by Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min on either side.
Harry Kane will be the man spearheading the attack for Tottenham, and he will be hoping to go on a goalscoring spree, having recently ended his Premier League draught.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Emerson, Romero, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp; Moura, Ndombele, Son; Kane
Paul Pogba is suspended for the tie after his sending off against Liverpool last weekend. His compatriots Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are both fit and available for selection, which will come as a huge boost for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Amad Diallo is also back in the reckoning for Manchester United.
Like Tottenham, the Red Devils are also expected to set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday, with David de Gea manning the goal. The returning Varane ought to walk right back into the starting XI, partnering the struggling Harry Maguire at the heart of the Manchester United defence. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are the undisputed starters in the full-back positions.
Moving into midfield, Solskjaer is likely to back his trusted duo of Scott McTominay and Fred yet again, even though the pair does not offer much in the way of attacking impetus from the centre. Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes will be slotting in as the No. 10, acting as Manchester United’s primary chance-creator.
Mason Greenwood has been one of the visitors’ better players this season and should start on the right-wing. Marcus Rashford ought to get the nod on the left, which means there is no spot for Jadon Sancho yet again. Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line for the 20-time English champions, with Edinson Cavani and the fit-again Martial providing options from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
- After a six-game winless run away to Tottenham in the Premier League, Manchester United have won two of their last three visits to the Lilywhites in the competition (D1).
- Tottenham have lost more Premier League games against Manchester United than they have versus any other side in the competition (36).
- Manchester United have lost three of their last four Premier League matches (D1), as many as in their previous 37 league outings (W23 D11).
- Tottenham star Son Heung-min had a hand in four goals in his two games against Manchester United last season (3 goals, 1 assist).
- Mason Greenwood has scored five goals in his previous seven away Premier League appearances and nine overall on the road for Manchester United.
Player to Watch
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 29, 2021
As Manchester United’s struggles continue to mount, there have been quite a few pundits criticising the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo and his role in this side. Questions are being asked about his work rate and lack of pressing from the front, but the Portuguese international remains bullish about his form and the team’s prospects.
In ten games this term, the 36-year-old has scored six goals across all competitions. However, Ronaldo has gone without finding the back of the net in his last four league games – his worst run since November 2017 for Real Madrid. The Portuguese maverick will be keen to end this mini-drought at the earliest and help Manchester United get back to winning ways.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United
Saturday’s game will see two teams, who are under pressure, go up against each other. Manchester United are coming on the back of a disastrous defeat against Liverpool but the return of Raphael Varane should help them tighten things up somewhat at the back. And, considering that Tottenham have not been the most fluent goalscoring side this season, the Red Devils might not ship many.
Going forward, however, issues continue to remain for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, especially against well-organised and disciplined defensive units. All things considered, this encounter could end up in a tame 1-1 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a result that helps neither team.