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Preview: Solskjaer boosted with Pogba and Rashford return to hit Spurs where it hurts?

Tottenham Hotspur -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

Friday 19 June 2020, KO 20:15 BST

Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: Eddie Smart, Neil Davies Fourth Official: Andre Marriner

VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United will return to Premier League action three months after the league was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a shame as United, back then were in good form and on an eleven match unbeaten run, scoring 29 goals, conceding two and keeping nine clean sheets. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to keep that going.

It will be the first time that Jose Mourinho has faced his former club since he was sacked almost 17 months ago and will face United with his team in dire form with one draw and five defeats in their last six matches and seemingly facing an uphill battle in their bid to qualify for European football next season, which seems tough right now.

Form: United undefeated in their last six matches and on 11-match unbeaten run; Spurs winless in last six matches, last winning seven matches ago.

Manchester United: WWWDWW

LASK 5-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 W, Derby County 3-0 W, Everton 1-1 D, Club Brugge 5-0 W, Watford 3-0 W

Tottenham Hotspur: LDLLLL

RB Leipzig 3-0 L, Burnley 1-1 D, Norwich City 1-1 (2-3 pens) L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3 L, Chelsea 2-1 L, RB Leipzig 1-0 L

Top Scorers: United were seemingly scoring goals for fun during their 11-match unbeaten run and Rashford could pick up where he left off for the remainder of the season.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 16 – Anthony Martial, 12 – Mason Greenwood, 5 – Scott McTominay, 4 – Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are unbeaten in 11 matches, scoring 29 goals, conceding twice, keeping nine clean sheets and driving forward in their bid to reach the top four of the Premier League. Solskjaer’s side will be up against it when they travel to Spurs on Friday but three points from this match will be a must to keep chase on those above them.

Tottenham Hotspur Goals: 17 – Harry Kane, 16 – Son Heung-Min, 9 – Dele Alli, 7 – Lucas Moura, 4 – Erik Lamela, 3 – Christian Eriksen, 2 – Serge Aurier, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Moussa Sissoko, Jan Vertonghen, 1 – Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Sessegnon

Spurs have not been as good as they can be this season, losing Mauricio Pochettino and bringing in Mourinho, United’s former manager, which has not changed their fortunes. Four points adrift of United, Spurs will be seeking to make United’s first visit to their new stadium a memorable one, possibly taking all three points, which is a possibility.

Team News: Rashford, Pogba, Fosu-Mensah and Grant off the injury list – Jones back on it as United ready to go again.

Solskjaer will no doubt be boosted with the return of top scorer Marcus Rashford, midfielder Paul Pogba with two other players; Lee Grant and Tim Fosu-Mensah all of the injury list and ready to compete for places in the season run-in with United seeking a place in the UEFA Champions League next season. Phil Jones is back on the injury list though!

Mourinho will be happy to have Harry Kane back and ready to help drive his team forward after the played was due to miss the match between these two sides before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mourinho will be without Troy Parrott and Japhet Tanganga through injury with Dele Alli suspended for this match.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford and Pogba return to the starting XI? Fernandes playing in the advanced position and three at the back for Solskjaer?

It is hard to predict the right formation and starting XI for United, especially three months after the last match and it still being the same season. In the past, Solskjaer has utilised three at the back in away matches, giving United a bit more in the midfield and moving forward. However, that might change but I have gone with that option.

Match Prediction: United the team in form right now but with a three month gap between last competitive matches, either side could be in the driving seat on Friday evening.

United and Spurs have played 55 times in the Premier League with United winning 35 times, drawing 11 times and losing nine times. In total, United have scored 93 goals to Spurs’ 49. United have kept 27 clean sheets to Spurs’ eight. United have won six penalties, scoring all of them. In total, United have received 95 yellow cards and three red cards. Spurs had 91 yellow cards and one red card.

This match will be a race to find European football next season for Mourinho’s side, who were placed ninth in the league before the match, with United in fifth; four points better off than the North Londoners. United will be seeking three points from this match which will fortify their position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season as Spurs seek to climb into the UEFA Europa League position.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Manchester United

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