Tottenham Hotspur -v- Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Thursday 27 April 2023, KO 20:15 BST
Manchester United return to Premier League action on Thursday evening as they face Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. United have not placed in the Premier League since their 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest. Over the last week United saw their participation in the UEFA Europa League come to an end with a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Sevilla but reach the Emirates FA Cup final with. 7-6 penalty victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.
Erik ten Hag currently has a problem with injury with both Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez out of action with the Frenchman having a chance to feature in the FA Cup final but the Argentinian seeing out the remainder of the season recovering from surgery. Harry Maguire will be eligible to feature for United against after being suspended in the FA Cup pantry victory over Brighton for two yellow cards in the earlier rounds. United have more options again.
The main problem for United is the lack of goalscoring ability. But that is something that can be overcome with players stepping up and playing for the badge on their shirt. Spurs though – that is a different story. Their 6-1 defeat to Newcastle United has caused more problems for them this season and Christian Stellini ended up being replaced by Ryan Mason for the remainder of the season. United will have a big job against the hurt Spurs side – so will need to push to win.
Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists – WLWDWW
Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 (7-6) W, Sevilla 3-0 L, Nottingham Forest 2-0 W, Sevilla 2-2 D, Everton 2-0 W, Brentford 1-0 W
Goals: 28 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 8 – Antony, 7 – Anthony Martial, 6 – Fred, 5 – Casemiro, Own Goal, Jadon Sancho, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcel Sabitzer, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw
Assists: 11 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Christian Eriksen, 8 – Marcus Rashford, 6 – Casemiro, Luke Shaw, 5 – Fred, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Anthony Martial, Wout Weghorst, 2 – Antony, Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Marcel Sabitzer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Tottenham Hotspur – Form, Goals Scored & Assists – LLWDDW
Newcastle United 6-1 L, Bournemouth 3-2 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 W, Everton 1-1 D, Southampton 3-3 D, Nottingham Forest 3-1 W
Goals: 26 – Harry Kane, 12 – Son Heung-min, 6 – Rodrigo Bentancur, 5 – Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, 2 – Arnaut Danjuma, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison, Emerson Royal, Ryan Sessegnon, 1 – Matt Doherty, Clément Lenglet, Ivan Perisic, Pedro Porro, Oliver Skipp
Assists: 11 – Ivan Perisic, 7 – Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Dejan Kulusevski, 4 – Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, 3 – Richarlison, 2 – Rodrigo Bentancur, Ben Davies, Clément Lenglet, 1 – Eric Dier, Bryan Gil, Pedro Porro, Emerson Royal, Ryan Sessegnon, Japhet Tanganga
Previous Meetings & Connections
United and Spurs have met 61 times in the Premier League. United have won 39 times, drawn 12 times and lost 10 times. United have scored 106 goals, winning eight penalties, scoring all of them. Spurs have scored 59 goals, won two penalties, scoring both of them. United have kept 29 clean sheets with Spurs keeping eight. Discipline has been an issue with United players shown 109 yellow cards and four red cards. Spurs players have been shown 96 yellow cards and one red card.
Earlier this season, United beat Spurs 2-0 at Old Trafford with goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes. United have won the last four meetings with Spurs after that 6-1 humiliation during the 2020/21 season. In those four matches, United have scored 11 goals, conceding three – keeping two clean sheets. Ten Hag will be savouring this match as it will give United a good chance of confirming their top four place in the Premier League this season.
Jack Hall, Jimmy Brown, Garth Crooks, Alan Brazil, Terry Gibson, Chris McGrath, Fraizer Campbell, Chris Jones, Zeki Fryers, Teddy Sheringham, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick have played for both United and Spurs in the history of the two clubs. Carrick, Sheringham and Berbatov will be seen as the most successful players with all three of them winning what Spurs have never achieved. Just to make the supporters of the club feel a bit more embarrassed about their failure.
Donny van de Beek (knee), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Raphael Varane (ankle), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle) and Tom Heaton (ankle) have all been ruled out of the clash with Spurs on Thursday evening. Bruno Fernandes (ankle) is a double for the Spurs clash with an ankle injury. However, he could recover in time to play for United. Scott McTominay (knock) has been out of action for a period of time and it could be that he does not return for another week yet.
United will be boosted with the fact that Harry Maguire is eligible to face Spurs which could see Luke Shaw back in his favoured left-back role after playing in the centre of the defence against Brighton in the Emirates FA Cup semi final with United winning on penalties. Willy Kambwala has been training in the first team which could be Ten Hag’s plan to have more options in the defence with the absences of both Varane and Martinez at this stage of the season.
Emerson Royal (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) and Yves Bissouma (ankle/foot) have all been ruled out of the visit of United on Thursday evening due to injury. Hugo Lloris (hip) has a 25% chance of featuring against United on Thursday, which could be a blow for Spurs. However, they have other options. Lucas Moura recently appeared for Spurs’ U21 side so he has recovered from his injury nd could come back to the fold soon.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1
Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;
Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;
Predicted Tottenham Hotspur Starting XI – 4-3-3
Porro, Romero, Dier, Perisic;
Danjuma, Skipp, Højbjerg;
Kulusevski, Kane, Son
United have played well this season. They will need to find the best of their ability to take on Spurs. The North London club have been replaced by Aston Villa in fifth place in the Premier League with both clubs due to play United this week – Spurs on Thursday and Villa on Sunday. Spurs could easily start to drop away from the European places in the Premier League with Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion seeking to finish higher this season.
Ten Hag will need to solve the problems with goalscoring, which has been a problem for United recently. Anthony Martial has been poor in front of goal and Wout Weghorst has bene largely unlucky despite bringing some positive play for the club. Bruno Fernandes could be a big miss for United if he is not fit to play against Spurs, which could be problematic for United as without his their creativity has been lacking against tougher sides – and Spurs could be that side tomorrow evening.
Spurs could be seeking to come back from that bad for this season but saying that, United will be seeking to continue that bad form they have been in. It could be a very difficult match for both teams although United seem to have a slight advantage having not been as poor as Spurs have been this season. United will still have two games in hand over Spurs after this match, which will remain a problem for them trying to push back into the top four this season.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Manchester United
Written by John Walker