Why Tottenham Hotspur will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first real test as Manchester United manager
So far, the reign of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been a fairy tale ride. 5 wins out of 5, 4 of which have been in the Premier League, scoring 14 and conceding 3. A 2-0 victory against Reading saw United progress into the 4th round of the FA Cup.
There have been significant improvements in United's performances over the course of Solskjaer's first two weeks at the club, scoring 14 goals in just 4 league games.
United managed to score just 29 goals under Mourinho, and conceded a shocking 29. United's goal difference has jumped to 11, and they find themselves 6 points off the top 4, and 10 points behind 3rd placed Tottenham.
Tottenham have been in fine form this season, winning 16 of their 21 league games so far, & scoring 46 goals in the process. Harry Kane is an obvious threat for United. Kane has been involved in 18 of Tottenham's goals so far, scoring 14 and creating 4.
Kane has been consistent in his goal scoring over the past two seasons, and will be a handful for the United defense. Son Hueng-Min has been one of Tottenham's best performers, alongside Harry Kane, scoring 8 goals and assisting 6.
Christian Eriksen has created 7 goals so far this season and scored 4. Tottenham have no shortage of goal scorers and match winners.
United's defense has been shaky this season, and have struggled to keep clean sheets so far, conceding 32 goals.
The run of fixtures prior to the Tottenham game may have raised the confidence levels of the United defense who have conceded just 3 goals in 4 games. The fixtures Solskjaer's United have had so far has been against opposition not at their level or Tottenham's.
Its going to be a stern test for Man Utd's defensive line at Wembley, with the likes of Kane, Son, and Eriksen, as well as Dele Alli who is known for his late darts into the opposition box. With Lindelof and Jones showing signs of improvement and consistency in their performances, it definitely wont be easy for Tottenham to break through, but it may prove to be a tough evening for the United center-backs.
Moussa Sissoko's powerful presence in mid-field will be another test for United's defense. Tottenham's full-backs are known for their attacking prowess, and would get forward on any given occasion.
So far United have been enjoying a higher share of possession, dominating the mid-field, and pushing the full-backs forward. It will not be the same with Tottenham at Wembley, as Tottenham is a team which enjoys holding the ball, building from the back, and are extremely comfortable in possession, even in tight situations.
United may find themselves chasing the ball, and may have to do a lot more running as compared to the previous league games. Pochettino and his team will try to hold possession, and are patient in their build-up play. With the added advantage of playing at home, Pochettino and Tottenham will be rubbing their hands in excitement.
Tottenham emphatically surpassed United in the reverse fixture, with a 0-3 victory. The United players would most definitely be looking for a certain amount of revenge in this fixture, and judging by the last four league performances, they might just get their wish.
With the likes of Pogba who has scored 4, & Rashford who managed 3 over the last two weeks, United have an extremely potent attacking threat.
This fixture could possibly reduce the gap between both teams to 7 points, and United could find themselves challenging for a top three spot. As for Tottenham, this game could see them back in the top 2, depending on the outcome of City's game.
One can certainly expect goals in this fixture, and a high-tempo game, as both teams have plenty to play for.
All stats via transfermarkt