The Premier League is back!
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be hoping his Manchester United players could pick up their form where they left it before the Premier League season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of March.
After a poor start to the 2019/20 campaign which saw United recording their worst start to a domestic campaign in more than 30 years, the Old Trafford outfit had picked up steam and won 8 out of their last 11 games before the lockdown.
The form of their Friday’s hosts couldn’t have been more different as Jose Mourinho side’s were one of the biggest beneficiaries of the suspension of football in March. That’s mainly because they had lost five and drawn the other of their last six games before the interruption.
However, while the form of both the sides leading to this game couldn’t be more different, the return of Harry Kane from his long-term injury as well as that of Son Heung-Min from South Korea’s military training camp should result in a feisty clash between both sides later today.
Perhaps that’s the reason why Solskjaer is wary of shaking things too much as he’s reportedly set to bench the fit-again Paul Pogba for this clash. That leaves the likes of Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic battling for the two defensive-midfield berths.
Elsewhere, the trio of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes are a shoo-in to start, with Solskjaer expected to go with a defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, as David De Gea keeps his position in the goal.
Pragmatism has been the word mostly used to describe Mourinho’s teams in the past, and nothing might seem more pragmatic to the Portuguese then to throw in Kane, Son, Sissoko and Bergwijn back into the starting XI now that all of them are back and available for selection.
One player who will be a key absentee for Spurs is central midfielder Delle Alli. The England international will serve a one-match ban that the Football Association has handed him due to the offensive video he posted on his social media account during the lockdown.
Juxtapose the facts that United have scored in all of their last eight games across all competitions with Spurs’ keeping the lowest clean sheets of any team in the Premier League this season, and goals are likely to come on Friday evening.
Most of them are expected to go in favor of United, though, as the Red Devils have the likes of Rashford, Martial and Bruno Fernandes who can test Hugo Lloris in Spurs’ goal.
That isn’t to say that De Gea will have a field day at the office as the duo of Kane and Son are expected to cause problems for the out-of-form Spanish goalkeeper.
All of this points to the scenario in which both teams are expected to find the back of the net, which is why we’re predicting a high-scoring draw.
Tottenham probable lineup vs Manchester United: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Sissoko, Ndombele, Lo Celso; Son, Kane, Bergwijn
Manchester United probable lineup vs Tottenham: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Matic; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial
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