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Confirmed Starting XI: Wan-Bissaka, Greenwood, James and Martial start against Spurs

Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur at the Hongkou Stadium on Shaghai in their second match of the International Champions Cup this summer. This will be United’s fourth pre-season match this summer, beating Perth Glory 2-0, Leeds United 4-0 and Inter Milan 1-0 so far. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to continue their winning run against Spurs.

United are also seeking to overturn a poor season last term by getting ready for the upcoming season, in which they will face Chelsea at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of the Premier League, in just over two weeks time. Solskjaer is also tasked with strengthening his squad this summer, so far with the addition of Daniel James from Swansea City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace. Two weeks remain in the transfer window to add more players to the squad.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Smalling, Rojo, Young;

McTominay, A. Pereira, Pogba;

Greenwood, Martial, James

Substitutes:

Romero, J. Pereira; Lindelof, Bailly, Dalot, Shaw, Tuanzebe; Mata, Lingard, Fred, Gomes, Matic, Garner; Rashford, Chong

Tottenham Hotspur:

Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Tanganga, Vertonghen, Georgiou, Winks, Sissoko, Ndombele, Dele, Parrott, Kane

Substitutes:

United and Spurs have played each other 191 times competitively with United winning 91 times, drawing 48 times and losing 52 times. Last season, United fell to a 3-0 defeat against Spurs at Old Trafford in August 2018, winning 1-0 in the reverse fixture in the league in January 2019. In their last ten matches, United have won six and lost four. Beating Spurs will mean nothing in pre-season but will show if United has improved this summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winning mentality beats Mauricio Pochettino’s ‘trophies only build egos’ mentality

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has managed Manchester United, in a caretaker capacity for the last eight matches, winning all eight matches. He will lead United into their ninth match under his reign at Old Trafford this evening, where the Red Devils will take on Burnley in the Premier League, with United looking to win nine in a row. Confidence is at a high at United at this moment in time and that is something which has led to suggestions that Solskjaer is the man to continue to take United forward.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been reported to be the number one target to replace Jose Mourinho permanently in the summer when United will be seeking to find a permanent replacement for the role at the club. Executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward also wants to bring in a Director of Football also, which was suggested after the sacking of Mourinho at the start of December. Pochettino has done some good things at Spurs, but for me, he just does not fit in for United.

Spurs endured a tough week which saw them knocked out of the Carabao Cup by the hands of Chelsea at the semi-final stage, then being knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup after a 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace on Sunday. That will be tough for Spurs supporters to swallow as they now seem out of luck for a trophy this season, being nine points adrift in the Premier League and facing Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League. The Carabao Cup or the FA Cup were both realistic for Spurs.

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The problems that I have with Pochettino is the fact that he has yet to win anything as a manager, winning next to nothing as a player. United is a club that has winning engrained into it. Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson are the two managers who have added this to the history of the club, with Ferguson being the most decorated manager English football has ever seen. United supporters would like to have someone who knows what it is like to win trophies.

Pochettino has done well at Spurs though, this is not a criticism of him and his management style. He has helped to develop youth at the club and seems to have built a team capable of playing with the big boys but in terms of success, Spurs are still waiting for that to hit home. They have challenged in the Premier League but fallen short of making it matter. It is his comments after being knocked out of the domestic cups that rule him out for me. Pochettino, reported by Sky Sports, said:

“Again we’re going to have the debate whether a trophy will take the club to the next level. I don’t agree with it. It only builds your ego. The most important thing for Tottenham right now is to always be in the top four. 

It’s true, this season has been tough. I told you it would be a massive challenge for us, but we believe it’ll be a tough season but no tougher than it’s been. Of course, disappointed because, after Thursday and today again, out of two competitions. You feel disappointed. You can’t feel anything different.

“But now we have to be positive. We are still in two competitions, in a good position in the Premier League and the Champions League is a massive motivation for the whole club. We have to be strong.”

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To suggest that trophies only build egos is a pretty pathetic comment to make. It is not something that most United supporters would expect a potential manager of the club to say. For me, it is up there with David Moyes stating that ‘United aspired to be like Manchester City’. It is a comment that suggests winning trophies is not something Pochettino wants Spurs to be doing, so therefore he would have the same mentality if he was chosen to manage United. It just seems so wrong to talk like this.

Football is all about playing games and seeking to win trophies. If managers only get satisfaction from developing players and turning mid-table teams into challengers, albeit that run out of steam when it matters, that is fine but it is just not something I would like to hear from a United manager. United have appointed David Moyes, a manager who had won nothing at a top-flight club, Louis van Gaal, who had won most things in Europe and Jose Mourinho, who had won it all. None of them worked out for the club.

If Pochettino was brought in, not only would it be a nightmare to deal with Spurs, he would cost United a small fortune in compensation to release him from his Spurs contract. That added to the mentality he has shown when his team were knocked out of both domestic cups in the space of three days, it suggests it could be mistake number four (in a row) for Woodward and United. Having now sacked three managers in five and a half years, it is important that Woodward and the club make the right decision.

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For me, right now, the right option would be to stick with Solskjaer. His compensation payment will be minimal, compared to Pochettino’s anyway. He has played for the club, won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, two FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League and one Intercontinental Cup, all as a player. As a manager, at United, he has won the Premier League Reserve North and the Premier League Reserve, also adding the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup to his honours.

At Molde, Solskjaer has won the Tippeligaen (now the Eliteserien) twice, in 2011 and 2012, the first manager to win Molde a top-flight league title, also winning the Norwegian Football Cup in 2013. For me, this is more successful than Pochettino both as a player and a manager. The Argentinian has won the Primera División in 1991, followed by the Clausura in 1992 for Newell’s Old Boys, also winning the Copa del Rey twice whilst playing for Espanyol. In terms of success, it does not compare with Solskjaer.

The one thing about Solskjaer is that he has the winning mentality that Pochettino does not seem to have. Yes, he can win matches and lead his side into competitions, contending to win the Premier League title a few years back but the fact remains that Spurs seem to have the mentality of becoming a top four club with little to show for that than the money they will have earned. United, in the same respect, seem to be in the same boat with money being the object of affection more than trophies but they have won trophies recently.

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The main factor that puts Solskjaer ahead of Pochettino for me is that the players love him, the coaches love him, and more importantly, the supporters love him. He has a history playing for United and has been a serial winner at the club over the years. He has had management experience at Molde, Cardiff City and now United, so in terms of experience, he is not in the same boat as Pochettino but to have the winning mentality is one of the main factors that he’s a leading contender to take the helm permanently.

Solskjaer’s winning mentality has been shown by his hunger to win things as both a player and a manager, achieving so much more than Pochettino. But the major part of that is shown by the way he speaks and acts. The excitement he has shown since being announced as United manager, to leading out the players and winning matches. His press conferences have also been more interesting than those of Moyes, Van Gaal and Mourinho. It is what he has said recently though that really does it for me. Solskjaer said:

“That is not the dream, though, to be top four. For Manchester United, you should always aim to win the league. We can’t do that this year, but we have to get back to the challenge. We’ve got the Champions League, we’ve got the FA Cup, we can’t just say we’ve got top four and that is it.

“We have to look at if we can win something this year. As I’ve said, I go into every game as Manchester United manager thinking we can win this game. We are sixth at the moment, so we are a way off the top teams. We are challenging to be top three at the moment. I don’t think we can realistically think about the top two positions.

“I’ve been really impressed with the players, their desire and the team spirit. That goes a long way. We need to use these months to be ready for the challenge next year, we came second last year, we wanted to be challenging for the top place but it didn’t happen. It’s about reorganising and just starting next season to be ready to challenge and get more points.”

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To hear any manager aspire to win trophies is going to get the supporters excited. Solskjaer has said things that have not been heard since Sir Alex Ferguson, showing that he has the class, motivation and aspirations just like the Scottish legend. Solskjaer obviously does not feel that winning trophies is an ego boost, just a part of the game he is involved in. If seeking a top four position is more than actually winning something, you have to wonder about the motivational aspects of the person saying it.

Obviously, United will need to achieve a top four place this season but whilst they are still in the UEFA Champions League, facing Paris Saint-Germain and in the Emirates FA Cup, facing Chelsea, to go into a game not wanting to win will get you what you deserve. United is all about winning trophies, which is why they are a club who has won everything they have ever played in, completing that haul under Mourinho by winning the UEFA Europa League.

Solskjaer, at this moment in time, remains my first-choice to become the permanent manager of United. There is a great feeling about the club under his management, the players and the supporters are all happy and the major mood change at the club post-Mourinho has been fantastic. Of course, when that first defeat comes, there will probably be criticism but Solskjaer is humble and he will take it on the chin. I don’t think he would ever respond with comments such as ‘winning trophies is only good for the ego’.

Review and Ratings: Manchester United beat Spurs at Wembley; De Gea immense, Pogba and Rashford won the game

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Six wins in a row for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the first United manager to do so in the history of the club. These are the records that feel good when they are beaten. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were lacklustre throughout the game, pressuring United in the second half with David De Gea standing firm.

United took the lead in the 44th minute after a sublime ball was played over the top by Paul Pogba with Marcus Rashford collecting it and slotting it past Hugo Lloris from an angle to fire into the far corner of the goal. It was the goal that had been coming in the game for much of the first half with United unleashing their counter-attacking ability on this Spurs side, who did not seem to have much pace.

David De Gea was the Man of the Match for me. He pulled out all of the stops to deny Spurs from getting an equaliser, or worse. This is the best the Spanish number one has been all season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has changed the mood at United for the better. This team is confident and willing to do all it takes to get the club back into the limelight. A few weeks ago, United were about 11 points away from Arsenal, now the points are level with only goal difference separating the two teams.

Paul Pogba has risen to the occasion and should be mentioned for what he has done since Jose Mourinho left the club. His pass to Rashford, which led to the only goal in the game was top drawer. Rashford has impressed also. His stock has risen massively in the last six matches Solskjaer has managed. The best may still be a long way off but there is something to look forward to now. Something that has been missing for a long time now.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

MOTM. Performed save after save to deny Spurs from equalising in the second half. Surely the Spanish number one is back to his best. The importance of the clean sheet was shown by United's desire against Spurs.

12345

18 Ashley Young

Got stuck into the game against Spurs. Did what he needed to do and kept United on top of the game, at times. Another that needs to pat himself on the back.

12345

2 Victor Lindelof

The Iceman is growing more confident game after game. He did all he could to stop Harry Kane from getting through United's defence at Wembley. His passing from the back is good to see, as it is to see him play the role he was brought to do.

12345

4 Phil Jones

Another good performance from the Englishman. Good to see him get a run of form in the team. It would be good to see what Sir Alex Ferguson saw in him finally come to the surface. Confidence and momentum could be the making of him.

12345

23 Luke Shaw

God involved in both defence an attack. His positioning was largely excellent and he put himself on the line to deny Spurs from getting an advantage, not that they actually had many. Dealt with the pressure in the second half, which will help him develop into the left-back United wanted so badly.

12345

31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian played the role of protecting the defence, which after the way the season started, is needed. It was a good performance from the veteran. It is great to see him praised for what he does, as he does it so well.

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21 Ander Herrera

Had a busy game and never gave up, which is something I admire in him. He made some important tackles and interceptions, which is what he likes to do, which add to both his and United's game. Wants to remain a red, so should be retained by the club.

12345

14 Jesse Lingard

Used his energy to help his side get the better of this Spurs side. Ran himself into the ground at times. Imagine all those supporters who criticise him for his off the pitch antics, yet fail to notice just what he does on the pitch.

12345

6 Paul Pogba

Ended Spurs' hopes in the game with his sublime over the top pass to Marcus Rashford, which saw United break the deadlock in the last minute of the first half. What sort of play is world-class. Used his head and had his fair share of controlling the game. This is the Paul Pogba that United spent £89 million on. Four goals and four assists in his last five matches.

12345

9 Anthony Martial

Looked threatening, at times against Spurs. Used the left flank and his pace, but his mind to get the better of his opposition. Never scored or created anything though, which is a shame. His confidence will build and he will soon be back to scoring goals again.

12345

10 Marcus Rashford

Scored the only goal of the game after being assisted by Pogba. Got stuck in and never gave up. Under Solskjaer, he has grown even more as a player. He is the striker for United now and Romelu Lukaku needs to pull out all of the stops to change the game. Form can breed form., which could unlock both strikers for United, which could bring back the goal hungry days from the past.

12345

Substitutes

Romelu Lukaku

Replaced Martial 73'. His hold up play was good but his introduction slowed things down for United. Needs to rediscover his form otherwise, watching Rashford lead the line with be the norm.

12345

Diogo Dalot

Replaced Lingard 83'. Brought on to counter Spurs' substitution and give United a bit more width. Got involved with some blocks and tackles.

12345

39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Pogba 90+2'. Came on at the death. Got involved in the game. Ended the game on the ball in the Spurs half.

12345

Goals: Marcus Rashford 44′

Assists: Paul Pogba 44′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Matic, Herrera; Lingard (Dalot 83′), Pogba (McTominay 90+2′), Martial (Lukaku 73′); Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Mata, Pereira, Fred

Bookings: Dele Alli 50′; Ander Herrera 66′, Paul Pogba 78′

Confirmed Starting XI: Rashford, Lingard and Martial lead the line against Spurs; Pogba in supporting role

Manchester United face a big challenge under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday afternoon as the Red Devils face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. United have won the last five matches in a row since the Norwegian replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm of the club and the level of football has been pretty exciting, although the Emirates FA Cup match against Reading last weekend was dire despite United winning 2-0. Solskjaer did mate wholesale changes to his starting XI though.

There is some excitement surrounding the club once again and the players now seem to be enjoying themselves under Solskjaer’s leadership. United ended up being beaten 3-0 by Spurs at the start of the season at Old Trafford. Two goals in two minutes at the start of the second half caught United out with a third goal coming in the final few minutes of the match. It was a poor game of football. Spurs had nine attempts on goal, five on target with United having 23 shots, five also on target.

This United team, which has played with confidence for the last five matches, should be up for the challenge of Spurs. This season, United have been given chances to claw back the gap between them and the top four, failing to take those chances. Now United need to create their own chances which should see them finish the season on a high, which is where the club needs to be. This United side has had 68 shots on goal in the last five matches, 29 on target, scoring 16 goals. Now it is on them to beat Spurs.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw;

Matic, Herrera;

Lingard, Pogba, Martial;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Dalot; Mata, Pereira, Fred, McTominay; Lukaku

Solskjaer knows exactly what Manchester United is about and he has brought that back into the team. 2019 will mark the sixth year since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and this has got to be one of the first times that the identity of the club has been apparent. There are many factors for this; the Glazers, Ed Woodward, misspending in the transfer market, three different permanent managers and the fact that the board do not seem to have much knowledge of football with the club being seen more like a business.

All that aside, Solskjaer has brought back the confidence of an ailing team. The attacking prowess of the club has been well-known by most supporters but the restrictive football, which had been played because of the fragile defence, and other reasons, was enough to knock the confidence out of the strongest willed people. United should be attacking from the offset, which is where they can punish their opposition. Spurs should feel the wrath of United in this respect as the 3-0 defeat in August was not United at their best.

The Norwegian has the skills and the knowledge to bring the best out of this United side. Granted, in the past five matches they have not faced big teams but the level of confidence on the pitch was a massive change from what we had seen previously. Confidence builds things and the momentum United have right now is partly because of that confidence. I am not saying United are unstoppable, but they are more unstoppable than they were before this period. That should put United in a good position.

Starting XI Prediction: Rashford should lead the line against Spurs; Lingard, Pogba, Martial supporting him…

Manchester United will be pitted against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. This is the biggest match of the season so far for United, which is a term that has been said before. After five matches for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, now is the time for this team to prove they are one of the best teams in the Premier League. Spurs beat United in the reverse fixture earlier this season, a match which saw United generate 23 shots on goal with Spurs just having nine, scoring three goals, United none.

Solskjaer has given his side the freedom to attack and also the free-reign to express themselves. As Sir Matt Busby once said: “At Manchester United we strive for perfection and if we fail we might just have to settle for excellence.” This is something that Solskjaer will have learned from his time at the club as a player, and a coach under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, who helped Busby’s words rejuvenate the club in his near 27 years as the manager.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

This goes without saying. David De Gea is the best goalkeeper at the club and one of the best in world football. There are many pretenders out there and some fans will judge a player based on a particular action is a game. Liverpool fans will suggest that Allison is the best in the world, just because they spent a lot of money on him. They will forget that he conceded seven goals against them in the UEFA Champions League last season.

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Defence: Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw

Right now, this is the best back four United has to offer. Ashley Young is better than Antonio Valencia and with Diogo Dalot needing time to grow as a player, as well as opportunities, he may not be ready for a game such as this one. Victor Lindelof has grown massively this season, coming forward as the ball playing central defender Jose Mourinho brought to the club but never utilised in this way. Phil Jones is fit and has played regularly without injury recently and Luke Shaw is setting the pace for his career.

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Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera

The midfield duo have played in most of Solskjaer’s matches as United manager. Nemanja Matic has proven that he still has a lot to offer and has been given time out, resting for about two weeks, leaving him fresh for this game. Ander Herrera has United at heart and puts himself on the line for his team. I see many try to underline many simple actions he makes for United, trying to suggest he’s the first player to do this. He plays the game and loves his team. What more can you want from a player?

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Attacking Midfield: Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial

Solskjaer has made this 4-2-3-1 formation work in his short time as the manager. Paul Pogba in the more advanced role sees him as the in-form player right now. Four goals and three assists in four out of five games under Solskjaer. Jesse Lingard has been playing some great football too since Solskjaer arrived. We all knew what he was capable of but his growth recently has been noticed. Anthony Martial still has some work to do to find his blistering form, but his hunger and desire have given glimpses of that.

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Striker: Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has risen to the occasion under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season and that has lasted just five matches so far. It is fair to say that he has not become a prolific goalscorer in this short time but it is very impressive to see his growth and the hunger to achieve that he has shown. He gets United and it is clear that he wants the team to achieve, which is all that we want too. Him being the main striker, right now, is the right decision but also one that may change in time.

Preview: Manchester United have the confidence to beat Spurs but the big game mentality and desire needs to be shown by all

Tottenham Hotspur -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Wembley Stadium, London

Sunday 13 January 2019; KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean

Manchester United face a big challenge under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday afternoon as the Red Devils face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. United have won the last five matches in a row since the Norwegian replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm of the club and the level of football has been pretty exciting, although the Emirates FA Cup match against Reading last weekend was dire despite United winning 2-0. Solskjaer did mate wholesale changes to his starting XI though.

There is some excitement surrounding the club once again and the players now seem to be enjoying themselves under Solskjaer’s leadership. United ended up being beaten 3-0 by Spurs at the start of the season at Old Trafford. Two goals in two minutes at the start of the second half caught United out with a third goal coming in the final few minutes of the match. It was a poor game of football. Spurs had nine attempts on goal, five on target with United having 23 shots, five also on target.

This United team, which has played with confidence for the last five matches, should be up for the challenge of Spurs. This season, United have been given chances to claw back the gap between them and the top four, failing to take those chances. Now United need to create their own chances which should see them finish the season on a high, which is where the club needs to be. This United side has had 68 shots on goal in the last five matches, 29 on target, scoring 16 goals. Now it is on them to beat Spurs.

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Pre-Match Opinion: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rejuvenated this Manchester United team with confidence at an all-time high!

Solskjaer knows exactly what Manchester United is about and he has brought that back into the team. 2019 will mark the sixth year since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and this has got to be one of the first times that the identity of the club has been apparent. There are many factors for this; the Glazers, Ed Woodward, misspending in the transfer market, three different permanent managers and the fact that the board do not seem to have much knowledge of football with the club being seen more like a business.

All that aside, Solskjaer has brought back the confidence of an ailing team. The attacking prowess of the club has been well-known by most supporters but the restrictive football, which had been played because of the fragile defence, and other reasons, was enough to knock the confidence out of the strongest willed people. United should be attacking from the offset, which is where they can punish their opposition. Spurs should feel the wrath of United in this respect as the 3-0 defeat in August was not United at their best.

The Norwegian has the skills and the knowledge to bring the best out of this United side. Granted, in the past five matches they have not faced big teams but the level of confidence on the pitch was a massive change from what we had seen previously. Confidence builds things and the momentum United have right now is partly because of that confidence. I am not saying United are unstoppable, but they are more unstoppable than they were before this period. That should put United in a good position.

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Team News: Paul Pogba fit to face Spurs after Newcastle injury; Eric Bailly suspended; Marcos Rojo injured

Solskjaer sat down with the media on Thursday evening, just under three days before the Premier League clash with Spurs at Wembley. £89 million midfielder Paul Pogba missed the FA Cup victory over Reading last weekend after sustaining a knock in that horror-challenge by Jonjo Shelvey against Newcastle United. The midfield against Reading looked poor and Pogba’s return will welcome. Eric Bailly will miss this game, the third of his three-match suspension. Marcos Rojo is out of action again and is in Argentina.

Chris Smalling is working to recover from his injury. He did travel to the warm weather training camp in Dubai with Solskjaer suggesting that he could return around the time of the Spurs match, of which we will see when the team travel down to London at some point on Saturday. Mauricio Pochettino will most likely be without Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier for the visit of United with Lucas Moura and Jan Vertonghen doubts for the match.

United have played some impressive football under Solskjaer since he replaced Mourinho. The Norwegian himself spoke about the matches United have played, four in the league and one in the FA Cup, which have all come against lesser opposition. This game will be different for United as Spurs are a top side and they may not allow United to attack them as others have. Solskjaer, speaking in his press conference about attacking, said:

“You always adapt to any opposition we play. You all know the best teams in the league and of course we have to be aware of their strengths. But I’ve been brought up in a way that we need to attack teams. I think that’s our strength as well, going forward and attacking, as a team when you look at us now the way we’ve played.

“We’re not going to get as many chances to attack against these [Spurs] as we’ve had before, so we’ve got to be ready for when we get hold of the ball and play well with it to make sure we use the whole pitch because Wembley is a decent-sized pitch as well.”

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Predicted Starting XI: Marcus Rashford has grown under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and should be Manchester United’s main striker…

Marcus Rashford has scored three goals, assisting a further goal in the last five matches, which has shown how he has grown under Solskjaer in as many matches. Reports suggest that the Norwegian has installed Rashford as the main striker, which if correct will see Romelu Lukaku on the bench more often than not. Lukaku has scored three goals in his last three appearances, two from the bench but in terms of what he has offered as the front man, Rashford has more in his locker.

Anthony Martial has played in three of the last five matches, scoring once and assisting once. He might not be showing the blistering form we know he is capable of yet but the signs are that it is coming. The playability between him and Luke Shaw is a key to the level of support offered on the left, which can unlock the very best for United. Paul Pogba is the in-form player under Solskjaer, playing four of the five matches, scoring four goals and three assists.

Jesse Lingard is another who has excelled, scoring twice and assisting twice, playing as many games as his Academy graduate teammate, Pogba. Having Rashford, Martial, Pogba and Lingard as the four attacking players is the best option for United and Solakjaer right now. His ability to call upon Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will give him more firepower against the bigger teams, also allow him to rotate how squad, which will need to happen with the UEFA Champions League a month away from its return.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United Betting Tips

The two sides have scored 40 goals between them in their last six matches. Bet on over 3.5 goals at odds of 6/4 with 138 UK. Romelu Lukaku has scored three goals in his last three matches. Bet on the striker to score any time against Spurs at 15/8 with 138 UK. United look capable of beating Spurs this weekend. Bet on both sides to score and United to win at 17/4 with 138 UK.

Match Prediction: Manchester United have the players to teach Spurs a lesson and now the confidence to ensure that it happens…

United are best when everyone has written them off. That seems to have been done by many this season already. The last five matches, United have arisen from the depths of obscurity. Winning all five, four of them in the Premier League, sees United’s best winning streak in the competition since the end of last season when Mourinho’s side beat Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Swansea City and Manchester City.

Granted, beating Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth and Newcastle United is not the same as beating three of the top six teams last season but in terms of the season United have had, it is a massive improvement. They are merely battles which United have won and there are so many more of them to come. Winning the last five matches could mean nothing if United do not leave London with any points on Sunday. A draw would be a good result, a win even better.

Solskjaer will want to see his team beat Spurs but it is the United players who owe that to the interim manager and the supporters. Spurs are a good team in the Premier League but they have not achieved anything yet. They have challenged to win the league but always fallen short when it matters. That history they have is what United need to capitalise on. This team has all the ingredients to build on the results of the last five matches, stretching it to six games will be the best scenario for the club, players and the fans.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: Alexis Sanchez was the MOTM against Spurs but Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, and Phil Jones deserve mentions

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur, coming from behind, to earn an Emirates FA Cup final place this season. Dele Alli scored in the 11th minute of the game, which was cancelled out by Alexis Sanchez in the 24th minute of the match. Ander Herrera scored the winner of the match in the 62nd minute with United playing well after conceding, right the way to the end of the game. It now gives United a final game at the end of the season, which will mean more this season.

United did not play well form the start, but after conceding the opening goal, they started to play much better. Paul Pogba was a player that the world media would be watching, along with Alexis Sanchez. Both played well, even though some suggest both cannot play on the same team together. United, through Sanchez, assisted by Pogba, returning the assist Sanchez provided in the Manchester derby victory. It was Ander Herrera, assisted by Romelu Lukaku that fired United into the final.

Jose Mourinho will be happy with what he saw from his team, who just a matter of months ago, were under the cosh for 90 minutes at Wembley against Spurs. To earn an FA Cup final place, which will either be against Chelsea or Southampton, which could be a replay of the EFL Cup final from 2017, something which will be decided on Sunday afternoon. This will be United’s 20th FA Cup final, which if they win it, will put them on par with Arsenal, who have won the cup 13 times, United currently with 12.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one ha little chance of denying Dele All from scoring the opening goal. After that though, he was solid for the remainder of the match. Well worked and well earned path into the Emirates FA Cup final this season.

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25 Antonio Valencia

The United captain, for the day, stood up to most that Spurs threw at him. Heung-Min Son was lively through his participation in the game. Came off late on after receiving a knock.

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4 Phil Jones

The English defender put in a good performance against Bournemouth during the week and retained his place. Despite some poor play from United, which led to Alli's goal. Jones soon got stuck into the match, putting in a last-ditch challenge to deny All from scoring again. Back to his best? Here's hoping.

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Chris Smalling

Harry Kane did not get a look in because of Jones and Smalling. Despite conceding an early goal, United recovered with Smalling and his partners experience, keeping the side on check with every attack against them.

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18 Ashley Young

Alli's opener came in a period where Young was not on top of his game. He played well down the left though, was booked, and helped play balls up the flank, getting involved in the attack, as well as defending when needed.

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21 Ander Herrera

One of the players who deserves a mention for his performance. Was the unlikely scorer of the winning goal, assisted by Lukaku. He helped United dominate the midfield, alongside Matic, leaving the advanced areas for Pogba, helping the Frenchman to play to the best of his abilities.

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31 Nemanja Matic

His defensive influence was something which helped United throughout the game. Became tired at the end but got stuck in, grabbing the game by the horns. Has a week to recover before United face Arsenal at Old Trafford.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman made a simple mistake which led to Alli's opening goal. He recovered well from it though, playing much better in the second half as United started to improve from conceding the opening goal. Returned the favour to assist Sanchez's equaliser.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Put in a display full of energy. Was unlucky not to have won a penalty. Seemed to be a target for many fouls. Ran energetically, tried to get involved and got the better of his man a few times. Sadly no Wembley goal, yet, for Lingard.

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Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian had a quiet game. He did get some chances, which did not go his way. He was involved in the game though. Assisted the winner for Herrera just after the hour. Still on 27 goals this season with the opportunity of more, and a trophy now up for grabs.

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Alexis Sanchez

Man of the Match for me. He has been criticised since he made the move to United. The media said he was dropped for this game - he started. His header to equalise was impressive, as was Pogba's set up of it. The Chilean has shown a massive improvement since the Swansea game, getting better each and every game. Next season could be big for Sanchez, as Mourinho has said.

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Substitutes

Matteo Darmian

Replaced Valencia 80'. Had ten minutes plus stoppage time. Did what he needed to do. Some may see this as being a chance to impress but it seems Italy is calling this summer.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Lingard 83'. Got stuck into the game. Gave as much as Spurs gave United. His pace was a threat from his introduction. Unfortunate to be booked, all for stumbling as he evaded what could have been a bad foul.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Sanchez 90+5'. Came on at the death. Did not have long enough to get stuck into the game. He may play at Wembley again before he leaves.

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Goals: Alexis Sanchez 24′, Ander Herrera 62′

Assists: Paul Pogba 24′, Romelu Lukaku 62′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Darmian 80′), Jones, Smalling, Young; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 83′), Lukaku, Sanchez (Fellaini 90+5′)

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Lindelof; Mata; Martial

Bookings: Antonio Valencia 27′, Ashley Young 71′, Marcus Rashford 85′, Ander Herrera 90′

Report: Manchester United end Spurs’ dreams of contending for something; Poch still a loser

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur, coming from behind, to earn an Emirates FA Cup final place this season. Dele Alli scored in the 11th minute of the game, which was cancelled out by Alexis Sanchez in the 24th minute of the match. Ander Herrera scored the winner of the match in the 62nd minute with United playing well after conceding, right the way to the end of the game.

Jose Mourinho did not really drop any big names for this match with the players the media were all talking about involved in the match, even if they were on the bench. Spurs started well with United having to defend two corners in the early stages of the match, doing what they needed to do. Alexis Sanchez seemed to be injured after Kieran Trippers challenged him, the Chilean was fine.

In the fifth minute of the match, Ander Herrera lofted the ball high into the Spurs box but Sanchez was beaten in the air by Trippier unable to find anything to put his side into the lead. Three minutes later, United had to defend again with Ashley Young going up against both Eric Dier and Christian Eriksen to deny Spurs from crossing into the United box.

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United had a chance to create heading into the tenth minute with Romelu Lukaku on the attack, Nemanja Matic playing the ball towards the Belgian and his shot going over the crossbar. Spurs then attacked through Eriksen, crossing into the United box for a rushing Dele Alli, who beat David De Gea firing into the back of the net. United found themselves a goal down in just 11 minutes.

In the 14th minute of the match, with Spurs ahead and seeking to cause more damage, Son Heung-min playing Harry Kane in at the far post with the England striker unable to double Spurs’ lead. Two minutes later, Phil Jones made a great tackle to deny Alli from getting something again as Spurs were camping in United’s half, causing problems for the defence.

Spurs were on the attack again in the 20th minute of the match, in which Antonio Valencia had to involve himself, heading the ball from Eriksen’s in-swinging corner out of danger. United started to get more involved in the match from there, putting pressure on Spurs. Sanchez equalised in the 24th minute of the match after Paul Pogba played a pass to the Chilean heading past Michel Vorm.

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Valencia received the first booking of the game for a lunging tackle on Alli. A minute later, United found themselves in a great position and came close to leading the game after Romelu Lukaku chipped a cross from the right, Jesse Lingard was between Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen but could not keep his header down, going for goal ten-yards out. Son was later booked for bringing down Sanchez.

In the 35th minute, Spurs won a free-kick after Son was fouled by Pogba, in a dangerous area with Eriksen standing over the ball. Ashley Young made the clearance in the box and Lingard cleared the danger. United started to play much better, especially when penned inside their final third. Son had the chance to put Spurs ahead, but was off target and ruled offside by the linesman.

Spurs won a corner in the 41st minute, which went straight to De Gea and United were set for an attack. There was some good play going forward with Herrera passing into the box from the edge but Spurs regained possession after Lukaku had his shot blocked. United won a corner after Pogba tried to curl an effort towards goal, Vorm touching the ball. The corner came to nothing though.

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There were two minutes of added time at the end of the first half, with both United and Spurs looking to head into the break ahead. Spurs broke forward and pressured United in their box, having a shot which came off the woodwork through Dier, which took a deflection off Chris Smalling, with United then regaining possession and attempting to pressure Spurs. 1-1 at half-time.

There were no changes for either team at the start of the second half – both looking to continue where they left off at the end of the first half. Alli was booked in the 50th minute of the match for a foul on Lingard. Then, moments later, Lingard was again fouled, United winning a free-kick in Spurs’ final third. Lingard was denied anything in the 53rd minute after Vertonghen pushed him in the box.

United were building up some momentum in the Spurs half with some decent attacking play coming forward. United had the chance, through Lingard to lead the game but it was not meant to be. Spurs broke on the attack and Jones came in with a clearance just inside United’s final third. Both teams were vying to win this match, as they should be at this stage of the game.

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In the 56th minute, Lingard sliced Valencia’s ball in, just before it could reach Sanchez. Spurs then cleared the danger. United then won a free-kick on the touchline, Sanchez put the ball into the box, Spurs making the clearance and winning a throw-in themselves. United took the lead in the 62nd minute through Herrera, beating Vorm from just inside the box, both Sanchez and Lukaku involved.

United, seeming somewhat confident after taking the lead, had some swagger about them. Lukaku was on the attack again, getting into the box, firing a shot which was just off target. The momentum had built for United and it was their game to lose now. Spurs made their first substitution with Lucas Moura replacing Ben Davies.

United won a free-kick after Moussa Dembele fouled Sanchez, it came to nothing other than causing more pressure for Spurs. Young was booked in the 72nd minute of the match. Eriksen had a chance, shooting from range, beating De Gea but hitting the side netting. Pogba drew a save from Vorm in the 75th minute with a great shot on target. United still in the momentum here.

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Spurs made their second change with Victor Wanyama replacing Dembele after Spurs won a free-kick after both Valencia and Alli came together. Jose Mourinho readied Marcus Rashford and Matteo Darmian after Valencia seemed unable to continue in the game. The Italian replaced the Ecuadorian in the 80th minute with Rashford would have to wait a little longer to come on.

With United in the Spurs final third, Dier fouled Lingard, earning a yellow card, giving United a free-kick in dangerous territory. Rashford came on the Lingard in the 83rd minute of the match. United still had the momentum and Spurs were the ones with their tails seemingly between their legs heading into the final five minutes of the match.

United, back on the attack through Rashford on the left with Davinson Sanchez coming in with a sliding tackle, Rashford jumping, stumbling on connecting with the ground again and going down. The referee booked Rashford for diving. There has been some more poor refereeing in a big match this season – shock, horror!

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Spurs, venturing forward to pressure United, were on the attack on the right with Sanchez back to defend, the Chilean fouling his man, resulting in a free-kick. Erik Lamela took the free-kick with Wanyama jumping to latch onto the ball in the box, clearing the crossbar with his effort. The BBC names Alexis Sanchez as the Man of the Match in this game, playing well for United on his return to Wembley.

In the final minute of normal time, Herrera was booked for a challenge with Spurs running out of chances to get themselves back into the game. There were five minutes of added time to be played, enough time for a goal at either end. Rashford broke through with the ball, getting into the box and threatening. He was unable to get a shot on goal, luckily for Spurs.

There was a big finish to this game. Lukaku was on the attack, trying to beat Vorm, who was out of his box. Spurs then got the ball and went on the attack, Young being fouled in the United box and United holding their area and seeing the ball go out of play. Mourinho made his final change with Marouane Fellaini replacing Sanchez in the fifth minute of added time.

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Goals: Alexis Sanchez 24′, Ander Herrera 62′

Assists: Paul Pogba 24′, Romelu Lukaku 62′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Darmian 80′), Jones, Smalling, Young; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 83′), Lukaku, Sanchez (Fellaini 90+5′)

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Lindelof; Mata; Martial

Bookings: Antonio Valencia 27′, Ashley Young 71′, Marcus Rashford 85′, Ander Herrera 90′

Confirmed Starting XI: Jose Mourinho puts out a strong side aiming to beat Spurs

Manchester United face the biggest match of the season, the Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. This is the only chance for United to win some silverware this season and the players should be taking the opportunity to set themselves up for another trip to Wembley in May.

United have had a mixed week, losing 1-0 to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday, a side who stunned Liverpool this afternoon, coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho’s side returned to winning ways on Wednesday evening, beating Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium with David De Gea keeping his 17th clean sheet of the Premier League season. United have had a positive season, overcoming all those draws last season, scoring more goals and winning more games. The style of play still holds some problems though.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young;

Herrera, Matic, Pogba;

Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez

Substitutes:

Pereira; Lindelof, Darmian; Mata, Fellaini; Martial, Rashford

United and Spurs have played a total of 188 matches in the history of both clubs – United winning 89 times, drawing 48 times, and losing 51 times. Over the past three seasons in the Premier League, United have won three and lost three – winning all three matches at Old Trafford, losing two at White Hart Lane and the one a Wembley earlier this season.

The Red Devils have lost just five FA Cup matches against Spurs – the last defeat on the 9th January 1980, winning the three most recent matches – 2-0 on the 5th January 1997, 3-1 on the 27th January 2008, and 2-1 on the 24th January 2009. Mourinho and United will be looking to win another FA Cup match, one which will earn them a place in the final this season.

Confirmed Starting XI: Alexis Sanchez starts at Wembley, De Gea back in goal, Pogba returns

Manchester United head to Wembley on Wednesday evening as they face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. United have started 2018 with some style, winning all five matches played and are yet to concede a single goal so far. United have beaten Everton 2-0, Derby County 2-0, Stoke City 3-0, Burnley 1-0 and Yeovil Town 4-0 – meaning they have scored 12 goals without reply.

United have been boosted by the fact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is about to return to full training and Eric Bailly may only be a few weeks away from becoming involved in matches himself. Last week, United signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in a deal with saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head to London. Jose Mourinho also extended his contract, which could see him at the club until 2021.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young;

Matic, Pogba;

Sanchez, Lingard, Martial;

Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Rojo, Shaw; Mata, Herrera, Fellaini; Rashford

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have played 187 matches in the history of both clubs – the first match was played on the 28th January 1899; a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup, the replay resulting in a 5-3 defeat for Newton Heath. United have won the most matches with 89 victories, drawing 48 times and losing 50 times in all competitions. The longest unbeaten run against Spurs lasted 26 consecutive matches between the two clubs starting on the 29th September 2001 with a 5-3 victory, lasting until the 4th March 2012, a 3-1 victory.

During that run, United won 21 matches, drawing five, scoring 54 goals, conceding 14 goals and keeping 15 clean sheets. The last time United were beaten by Spurs was at the end of last season, a 2-1 defeat in the last ever match played at White Hart Lane. United won the reverse fixture earlier this season with Anthony Martial scoring the only goal of the match.

copyright: JW