Man Utd V Spurs Preview
October 4th, 2020 | Football
This Sunday, Manchester United face Spurs in an empty Old Trafford. The teams last faced each other in each team’s first game after lockdown on the 19th of June, with the game ending 1-1 after Steven Bergwijn’s first half strike was cancelled out by a late Bruno Fernandes penalty.
The teams both look great going forwards with Utd having a front three of Rashford, Martial and Greenwood and Spurs with Kane, normally Son, who is injured and Moura or Bergwijn. United’s attack lacks the depth of Spurs but arguably has more quality from the start.
Man-Utd’s midfield has a lot more quality than Spurs. Bruno Fernandes has been outstanding since arriving in January from Sporting Lisbon and will be supported by either World-Cup Winner Paul Pogba or the experienced Serbian Nemanja Matic. Ole also has the options of Dutch international Donny Van de Beek, who has impressed in his early games, scoring the consolation goal on his PL debut of the bench at OT against CP on the opening day 3-1 defeat. Ole also has McTominay and Fred, who both impressed last season. Spurs midfield is more defensive without any real goal threat. Dele Alli has been exiled of late and while Winks and Hojbjerg keep things ticking they offer little going forwards. Lo Celso is more forward-thinking and Ndombele can drive forwards from deep, but like I mentioned, especially without Dele, Spurs lack a goal threat from that area.
Defence is where it’s interesting. Man-Utd had a decent defensive record last season not conceding many goals or chances keeping 21 clean-sheets in 47 games (up to March 2020), but questions still need to be asked about that backline. Wan-Bissaka and Maguire are welcomed additions from last summer and both could continue in the back line for years to come. I’m a big fan of Lindelöf with his incisive passing and defending of the channels, but his pace/speed, or lack of it, next to Maguire makes United vulnerable to quick attacks, like Spurs. The full-backs are both more than good enough, but need better competition to push them, possibly a more offensive option, and for squad-depth. Spurs defence needs work as well. I believe Toby Alderweireld is a top centre-back, but he’s ageing. Eric Dier doesn’t completely convince me there and I think Davison Sanchez would improve with somebody else next to him. Ben Davies leaves a lot to be desired in the final-third and has had a lack of completion, however the arrival of Sergio Reguilon has changed this and if he can capture his form from last season on loan at Sevilla from Real Madrid he’ll probably end up pushing Davies out the side. Doherty has been fantastic for Wolves and is a top signing, and it’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to a back four.
I think United’s pacey and dynamic front three with Fernandes supporting will prove a big threat to handle for the Spurs backline. I also believe Spurs’ attack, even without the injured Son, have pace in the wide areas with Moura and Bergwyn and a world-class striker in Harry Kane, will be a real handful for United’s defence, especially with the two centre-backs lack of pace if isolated with one of the wide players. So, with both team’s equal attacks and struggling defences, how does one team edge the other? In truth the game could easily end level but if United’s superior midfield turn up they could snatch all three-points. I don’t think either side can keep the other out but if one side can edge the other it could be United with the superior midfield. My prediction is a 2-1 victory for the Red Devil’s, but it should be a close-encounter come Sunday afternoon.
Please note: The football articles that feature on this site are being written by Jack Dixon as part of his work experience. He is a teenager and looking for work experience within football journalism.