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Preview: Manchester United must do what it takes to beat Spurs and bring back Old Trafford fear factor!

Manchester United -v- Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League 2017/18

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 28th October 2017; KO 12:30 BST

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The lunchtime kick-off will see Jose Mourinho’s side have their second big challenge of the season, needing to beat Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side to keep the chase on Manchester City this season. United will need to keep challenging for the Premier League title this season, something Mourinho will want to win for his club, turning the days of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era into history, something the ABU’s and the media will hope will not be the case as they seem to have got attached to United’s lacklustre performances over the last five years.

Jesse Lingard was United’s star man against Swansea City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. Speaking to MUTV and reported by the official Manchester United website, the player suggested that United need to scare teams, especially at the Theatre of Dreams, saying:

“A lot of people have said that. Teams that come here are scared to play, and that’s the vibe we want to give off. It’s all about getting that consistency now – it’s obviously a huge game at the weekend. If we can get the win it’s a huge marker to set down and we need everyone in the squad ready to do that.”

Lingard also spoke about Spurs being a challenge for United, despite the fact they will head to Old Trafford without start striker Harry Kane, which could be a big miss for the North London club. Lingard said:

“They’re doing really well right now – they’re third in the league, right behind us. So, it’ll be an interesting game with a lot of quality players on show. We’ve got to concentrate on what we’ve got to do – and that’s to win the game. Sometimes we’ve been in big games where we’ve not performed as well as we’d have wanted, but we’ve won the game, and the most important thing is to get all three points.”

Previous Matches:

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have faced each other 186 times competitively since the first match which was played on the 28th January 1899, which was a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup. The replay, a few days later, was a 5-3 defeat for Newton Heath. In total, United have won 88 times, drawing 48 and losing just 50 times, which is a good record against the North London club. United have, in the past, gone 26 matches without a defeat against Spurs, which lasted from the 29th September 2001 with a 5-3 victory at White Hart Lane, ending with a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane on the 4th March 2012, just over a decade later. In the ten matches played since United won the last match of a 26-match unbeaten run, United have won three times, drawing three times, losing four times, the last match between the two sides, the last ever match at White Hart Lane, being a 2-1 defeat for United. In this fixture last season, United won 1-0 with Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring the only goal of the match.

Form: United the more confident side this week, but Spurs could be hurting, meaning they could be in the zone to hurt United!

Manchester United seem to have put the defeat to Huddersfield Town in the Premier League last weekend behind them. The 2-0 victory over Swansea City in the Carabao Cup has given them a confidence boost, and that was with many fringe players, allowing some of the starters some rest. Jesse Lingard could be a shoe-in for United, after his performance against the Swans. His lack of fear could be something that United need, especially when other players are lacking to threaten their opposition. United have lost once this season, also drawing twice, dropping a total of seven points in the Premier League. The clubs 100% record in the UEFA Champions League and the Carabao Cup this season could spur them on to raise the bar and beat a team which finished in the top six last season.

Tottenham Hotspur have been playing well this season, but their reliance on Harry Kane could become a problem when the North London club visits the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday. The 3-2 defeat to West Ham United in the Carabao Cup during the week could be something which has instilled a lack of confidence in the side, which could see them picked apart by United, which would be great to watch. Spurs have challenged to win the league during the last two seasons, falling short in both attempts. It all depends on which Spurs side shows up at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday as to whether they challenge United, dominate United, or whether United dominate them, which has been the case for all teams to visit the Theatre of Dreams this season, so far at least!

Team News: Injuries still an issue for United, but some players are closer to returning – one could return this weekend!

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he has none of his stars back from injury with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Marouane Fellaini, and Michael Carrick all on the sidelines. Phil Jones, who was on the bench for United on Tuesday against Swansea, will be involved and Eric Bailly, who was due to be back this week, could be involved against Spurs. United will miss the injured players, but the ones who are fit should be playing for the badge on the shirt, meaning they should be dependable when needed. Mourinho, speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, said:

“Nobody is back. Jones was on the bench the other day and is okay. Bailly is a possibility. I think we are fine, I think we are strong and I think we are ready. We have no Zlatan Ibrahimovic, no Paul Pogba, no Marouane Fellaini, no Marcos Rojo, no Michael Carrick, so don’t speak to me about Harry Kane.”

Predicted Starting XI: Romelu Lukaku needs to put in a top performance to get United back into the (one horse) race for the top of the Premier League

Match Prediction: United to win the battle of Old Trafford, bringing back the fear factor at the same time

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

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