Tottenham’s record against many of the top six teams is dismal — but they are improving. Spurs have lost just one of their last five home games with Manchester United (W2 D2 L1) including their 2-1 win back in May. However, United remain dominant at Old Trafford. Spurs haven’t scored at United’s home ground since winning there 2-1 on New Year’s Day 2014. Since then, United have recorded three victories without conceding and last season ground out a 1-0 result with Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the scoresheet. Spurs have managed just nine shots on target at Old Trafford in the past three seasons.
Manchester United and Spurs have each met Huddersfield and Liverpool within their last three league fixtures. United managed just one goal and four shots on target combined, while Spurs recorded eight goals and 13 shots on target
Tottenham are one of the in-form sides in the Premier League right now, while United have endured a slump. The two sides sit locked on points just behind league leaders Manchester City. United’s 2-0 EFL Cup win over Swansea on Tuesday night papered over the cracks exposed in the 0-0 draw at Liverpool and 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield. Neither performance was particularly impressive from Jose Mourinho’s side, who sought and got a point at Anfield but who were woeful at the John Smith’s Stadium. Spurs, meanwhile, exited the EFL Cup on Wednesday when surrendering a two-goal lead to West Ham. Mauricio Pochettino will be expecting more from his troops when Harry Kane et al return to the first XI.
Harry Kane has scored 29 goals in 26 Premier League appearances in 2017, just seven off Alan Shearer’s all-time Premier League record for goals in a calendar year (36 in 1995)
Harry Kane’s stellar 2017 continued on Sunday when he put two past Liverpool at Wembley. The striker came off before full time with what looked like a muscle strain and he was absent from Wednesday’s EFL Cup defeat. Mauricio Pochettino insists the England international is fit and that the decision to leave him out against West Ham was so he could rest. It’s fair to say Spurs need Kane. His goals have directly earned Spurs 12 league points this season and six points in the Champions League. He has scored multiple goals in every game in which he has found the net this season (13 goals in six) and is Spurs’ greatest weapon to breaking through United’s defence.
Jesse Lingard scored twice for Manchester United in midweek but has not found the net in the Premier League since March
Jesse Lingard was tipped to be the next best thing at Manchester United but his progression has been somewhat overshadowed by Marcus Rashford in recent times. Lingard is a good few years older than Rashford but it is the teenager who is consistently earning game time over the 24-year-old. Lingard proved a competent squad player on Tuesday when starting and scoring a double to win United’s EFL Cup match with Swansea. Jose Mourinho needs players like this to come in and hold fort properly while his first-choice players rest. Lingard maybe won’t put up with it for long but the best he can hope for right now is substitute appearances. He’s started only four games all season but could come on this weekend if things are tight at Old Trafford.
Romelu Lukaku’s blistering start to the season has tailed off somewhat. The Belgium international scored 16 goals in 13 games for club and country before the last international break. But since United’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool Lukaku has struggled to find the net. He’s drawn blanks in his last four appearances and laboured on his own against a Liverpool defence that has been exposed on a number of occasions this season. Lukaku’s goals this term have so far come mainly against lower-half opposition. Doing the business in big games, such as Saturday’s clash with Spurs, is what he was brought in for.
Published at Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:37:11 +0000