Manchester United face Tottenham Hotspur in London on Saturday evening in the Premier League – the first away match of the season. United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at Old Trafford on Monday evening and will be seeking to earn their first points on the road.
United were not all that convincing in their victory over Wolves on Monday night but Raphael Varane opened the scoring this season with a header from an Aaron Wan-Bissaka cross into the box. There was some controversy though with a late penalty decision to be made.
New goalkeeper Andre Onana was deemed to have fouled a Wolves player in the box but nothing was given by the officials, leading to Wolves losing their opening Premier League match of the season which caused the ABU media to drone on about it all week.
United will need to find some good early form to get the better of Spurs in their own stadium. It is important that United win their opening two matches, which will put them in good form ahead of the important fixtures coming up, including the start of the UEFA Champions League next month.
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;
Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho;
Henderson, Vitek; Dalot, Lindelof; Eriksen, Pellistri, McTominay; Martial, Sancho
Porro, van de Ven, Romero, Udogie;
Kulusevski, Maddison, Son;
Forster; Sanchez, Emerson, Davies; Skipp, Hojbjerg, Perisic, Lo Celso; Solomon
United and Spurs will always play a good match. There is always competition and fire involved in the fixtures. That is not because Spurs are a direct rival of United. It is because they desperately want to achieve and bragging about beating United is the pinnacle of their existence.
That is not being disrespectful. Spurs haven on a top flight title since the 1960/61 season and the last trophy they won was the League Cup in the 2007/08 season – the same season that United won a Premier League and UEFA Champions League double.
Spurs have lost Harry Kane, which is a relief as he won’t change a game for Spurs again versus United. However, United could face him again in the Champions League at some point in the future. Spurs are in a position whereby they are no longer contenders for the Premier League.
United just need to deal with the pressure they can present and get the better of them. The midfield will need to be strong otherwise James Maddison will have a field day with United – especially if they allow him the space they did for Wolves on Monday evening.
Written by John Walker