Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur preview, predicted XI, team news and more
Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in a mid-week fixture and it will all be about one man--Jose Mourinho. He returns to his old club a year after stepping down, but a big smile has replaced the perpetual sullen frown from his last few months at Manchester.
Though, the home side are not seen as the favourites for the fixture having managed only four wins from 14 league matches, they have a good record against the top-four sides in the competition thus far, having not lost a game against them. This bodes well for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who seems to be under fire from all sides now.
Spurs boast a very poor away record this term and have lost three and drawn three of their seven games away from home. This might be one point of concern for Mourinho apart from a porous defence that has let in two goals in each of the fixtures the new manager has overseen. Mourinho has won 18 times going against his former sides in 32 encounters so far.
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur Head-to-Head
The last time these sides met at the Old Trafford, Tottenham humbled the home side to 0-3, while the Red Devils returned the favour in the return fixture at Wembley with 0-1 victory. In each of the previous three seasons, both of the teams have won one encounter apiece.
Manchester United form guide (Most recent first): D-D-W-L-W
Tottenham Hotspur form guide (Most recent first): W-W-D-D-L
Manchester United team news
The hosts have a long list of injured players, particularly in defence, including centre-back Eric Bailly, who has returned to training but is still nowhere near match fit. Similarly, Diogo Dalot's return date remains unknown. Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have stepped up their recovery but remain out of contention for the fixture.
Midfielders Paul Pogba, the influential Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic could all mark their return to the squad this week. Though Solskjaer might not risk playing Pogba ahead of the Manchester Derby, while McTominay is in contention to start having recovered from an ankle injury.
Injuries: Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Doubtful: Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic
Tottenham team news
Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris is a long-term absentee and is not expected to make a return to action until the new year. Michel Vorm and Erik Lamela still need some time to recover from minor knocks and are expected to be available for their clash with Burnley on 7 December. Left-back Ben Davies' date of return following an ankle injury is still unknown.
Injuries: Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Erik Lamela
Tottenham Hotspur: (4-2-3-1): Paulo Gazzaniga, Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Tanguy Ndombele, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane
Manchester United: (4-2-3-1): David de Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams, Fred, Andreas Pereira, Daniel James, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur prediction
The visitors have looked sharp in front of goal and with Dele Alli stepping up in midfield, we can expect them to score a couple of goals. But, there are some serious issues with the Spurs' defence that can lead them to concede just as easily.
Both sides have defensive concerns and a clean sheet by either of the goalkeepers is out of the question. With the visitors in good form in front of goal, they just might edge ahead of the home team, despite their decent home record, while making it two wins in two away games.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur