Starting XI Prediction: Lukaku the difference the Manchester United against Spurs?

Manchester United will face their biggest challenge of the season so far with Tottenham Hotspur heading to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. United were defeated 2-1 in the league away to Huddersfield Town last weekend, the first defeat of the season and the first time United had gone behind in a match and not been able to level the score. The 2-2 draw against Stoke City saw United fall a goal down, equalising two minutes later. United were poor against Huddersfield but got over that defeat by knocking Swansea City out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, earning a fifth-round clash with Bristol City in December. Jose Mourinho’s side could still be depleted against Spurs, but with Eric Bailly and Paul Pogba both returning to training, the end of the injury spell is nearing.

Starting XI and Formation Prediction (4-2-3-1):

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper was rested in the Carabao Cup this week amid an injury scare away to Huddersfield. De Gea has been training this week, gearing for the visit of Spurs, a team United will need to beat in order to turn the defeat in the last league match around and see the pundits and the media find another team to pick on – notice how little criticism Spurs have had for being beaten by West Ham United, yet some are still laughing about United’s defeat to Huddersfield a week on.

Back Four: Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw

United’s defence has been at bare bones for weeks now. Spurs will be United’s second big match of the season. Against the top six teams last season, United did not have the best form. These things need to change now in order for United to start challenging, when it matters, to win the Premier League. Antonio Valencia is the best bet for the right-back, with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones partnering in central defence. Luke Shaw, who had a cameo against Swansea, should start to regain his place in the team, not matter what the media say – Jose Mourinho has cleared things up during his press conference on Friday.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera

The midfield is still an area for improvement for United. Paul Pogba has returned to training, but this match will be too soon for him – probably. This means that United will have to use Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera again, with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick still on the sidelines. Once the midfield injuries have started to subside, United will be much stronger. Saying that Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe did well during the week, but Spurs could be a baptism of fire for them, should they play a part in the match.

Attacking Midfield: Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial

Jesse Lingard played a blinder against Swansea and should be afforded a start against Spurs. He is a player who divides opinion but has a worth in the team. Some people see that, other refuse to see that. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been poor recently but after a period of rest he could find some form again. Against Spurs last season, he scored, picking up an injury in this fixture. Anthony Martial should be given the reigns on the left for United, with Marcus Rashford coming on late into the match, giving a tired Spurs something to contend, which I am sure they will have prepared for, especially without Harry Kane, whose absence will be missed, for Spurs anyway!

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian striker came off the bench against Swansea, after Lingard had put United into the fifth round of the Carabao Cup. Lukaku has not scored in the Premier League for a while now, with a big performance needed – which could come against Spurs. United need three points and Lukaku will be tasked to get them for his side.

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copyright: JW

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