This evening, Manchester United head to the capital to take on Spurs in the clubs first post-lockdown match.
It promises to be a tough task, with both sides currently in the hunt for Champions League places. With Jose Mourinho in the opposition dugout – you can bet your a*s he’ll be going all out to secure a win against his former side.
Manchester United have almost a full compliment with only two real injury concerns to worry about. Both Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe will be on the sidelines with knocks but the rest of the squad should be fit to play.
Both Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are back from long-term injuries and excitement is high to see how those two play alongside January signing Bruno Fernandes – who is also expected to start the game.
As for our hosts, they have a fair few names missing tonight. Japhet Tanganga and Troy Parrott will both miss the game with injuries – although neither would have started in all likelihood.
Dele Alli will be missing too as he serves a suspension while Son Heung-Min and Giovani Lo Celso are both classified as doubts.
Spurs will be boosted by the return of Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn – both of whom were expected to miss the remainder of the season, but the delay to proceedings has allowed them to get back in time for the run-in.
A few match facts…
This is a big game for United as the boys currently sit fifth in the table, right on the brink of breaking into the top four. However, if Manchester City’s Champions League ban holds up, United are already in a Champions League spot.
Spurs are one of the teams in the chasing pack. They currently sit eighth on 41 points, four behind Manchester United – a win for the hosts would really bring the pack together.
None of Manchester United’s last six away games in the Premier League have seen more than 2.5 goals – so that would indicate we could be in for a close affair in North London.
Recent history is on the side of United though as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have won each of their last three meetings with Spurs in all competitions.
Tottenham do tend to perform quite well at home though, particularly from an attacking standpoint. In their last three games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Jose’s side have managed to score at least two goals – and that’s without Harry Kane or Son.
If form plays a part, which I’m not really sure it will given it’s been three months since anyone played, United would be the favourites coming into the game on a five match unbeaten streak.
Some pre-game thoughts
It should be an entertaining affair in London tonight and if Manchester United can get Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes on the ball on a regular basis, we’ll have a great chance to pick up a result.
If United want to be in the Champions League places when the season ends in six weeks time, then they will absolutely need to be winning games like this. Three points here puts some daylight between United and Spurs, which means there’s likely one less competitor to worry about.
Then, with the visit of Sheffield United – one of the more surprising competitors – to Old Trafford next week, this could be a huge week for Manchester United’s season. Six points from those two games leaves United in a very strong position, and puts pressure on Chelsea in fourth to pick up results against Aston Villa and Manchester City.