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.
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.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday evening…
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spanish goalkeeper has had the time to inspire him to find the form he once had as United’s number one goalkeeper. After a few mistakes this season, De Gea might have had enough time to overcome mental problems and help drive this team forward in their bid to finish in the top four of the Premier League and end the season with a trophy, or two.
Defenders: Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw
United’s defence is now an area where most of the players are fit and ready to go, apart from Phil Jones, who is on the injury list once again. Away from home, Solskjaer has opted for three at the back and in this case, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw could be called upon to try and steer United home with all three points again.
Midfield Four: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Paul Pogba, Brandon Williams
With a three-man defensive line, it normally gives a four-man midfield with wing-backs taking the width and pulling back to a back four or five if and when needed. In this case, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams could play the wide areas with Fred and Paul Pogba playing in midfield. This could lead to Fernandes playing further forward.
Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes
The Portuguese midfielder has been a revelation for United since he was signed in January with three goals and four assists in all competitions and seeking more goals to help United move closer to finishing Innside the top four in the Premier League and maybe in the race to win a trophy. In this position, Fernandes could swap with Pogba, keeping Spurs guessing.
Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial
It will be good to see the return of two strikers once again with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford leading the line with Fernandes just behind them. United now have a great amount of depth in these positions with Odion Ighalo and Mason Greenwood on the bench. Rashford and Martial are responsible for 35 goals between them this season, aiming for more.
Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe; Scott McTominay, Daniel James; Odion Ighalo, Mason Greenwood
United will have some great depth on the bench at this point in the season, which is great – as long as the players retain their fitness and avoid injury. Sergio Romero will keep his place on the bench with De Gea starting. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe could play a part with Scott McTominay and Daniel James in midfield, if needed. In attack, Odion Ighalo and Mason Greenwood could be called upon.