Can Tottenham Become City’s Sole Adversary?

Last updated: October 27, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12:30pm
Venue: Old Trafford
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Team Form: WWWDL
Away Team Form: DWWWW
Last Meeting: Spurs 2 – 1 Man United
Competition: Premier League

Five goals separate Man United and Tottenham in the Premier League table. Five points separates them both from Manchester City. The Citizens are scarily good, and whatever happens in this match, they will benefit. The key question this Saturday’s match will answer is: Who else has the tenacity and skill to actually make this Premier League season a contest?

Spurs have the belief and a go-getting attitude; Manchester United have the wisdom and cynicism of Mourinho. Tottenham appear to have gotten over their poor home form with a blistering 4-1 win against Liverpool with the hitherto Wembley-goal-shy Harry Kane smashing in two great goals. On the other hand, United’s initial ebullience has been tempered of late with two underwhelming games against Liverpool and Huddersfield; the former showing classic Mourinho tactics in playing for the draw, the latter seeing United overpowered by Huddersfield’s brilliant use of the gegenpress. With key midfielders such as Pogba and Fellaini out through injury, the Red Devils may have some difficulty in tempering a brilliant Tottenham team which is yet to lose on the road.

Spurs, contrary to popular belief, have slowly emerged to be one of the best forces in Premier League football, albeit without winning any proper silverware in ten years. The key to this success is their inventiveness in the final third of the field. When Alli, Son and Kane are all in fine form, Spurs can be quite unstoppable. United have their own fire-power in the form of Lukaku and Rashford, but with their own midfield woes, they will find it hard to take control of the game. One suspects that Mourinho has prepared for this kind of outcome and will play five at the back, looking for a hopeful long ball in order to get a breakaway goal.

Against Tottenham, as any Chelsea fan can tell you, this tactic can work quite simply; Spurs get carried away trying to wear down the bus and end up conceding from their own attacking corner. But with City looking so confident, can United afford to play for the 0-0 draw again? It seems Mourinho will see the bigger picture today, and look to secure a strong point against an opponent more than capable of challenging them, and make up the two points later in the season. So expect a draw, or at least a low scoring game.

Team News

Pochettino has dismissed any talk of Cup Success, saying that the Premier League and The Champions League are the “real two trophies” he wants to win. Good luck!

Pochettino also commented that he believes Fernando Llorente to be the “perfect fit” to complement Kane this season.

According to The Sun, the atmosphere at Man United is very low. One source said that the canteen “is like a morgue”

According to the Daily Mirror, Man United are looking to put a bid in for Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus in January.

Expected Line-Ups:

Man City (5-3-2): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelöf Jones, Darmian; Herrera, Matic, Martial; Lukaku, Rashford
Subs: Romero, Lingard, Shaw, Mata, Blind, Young, Mkhitaryan
Injured: Fellaini, Carrick, Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Rojo
Doubtful: Bailly
Not available:
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Alderweireld, Sánchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Davies, Dier, Son Heung-min, Eriksen, Alli, Kane
Subs: Vorm, Llorente, Rose, Foyth, Aurier, Winks, Sissoko
Injured: Wanyama, Lamela
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Man United So Far This Season Tottenham So Far This Season
2nd League Position 3rd
6 (2) Wins (away) 6 (4)
4 – 0 vs Crystal Palace Biggest Win 0 – 4 vs Huddersfield
2 (2) Draws (away) 2 (0)
2 – 1 vs Huddersfield Biggest Defeat 1 – 2 vs Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku (7) Top Goal Scorer Harry Kane (8)
Y13, R0 Discipline Y12, R1
1 Failures to Score 1
7 Clean Sheets 5
22% Both Teams to Score Games 44%
67% Over 2.5 Goals 56%
33% Under 2.5 Goals 44%
  • Manchester United have kept a remarkable 7 clean sheets this season, giving their games a 22% both teams to score ratio.
  • The race for the top Premier League goalscorer will play out in thrilling fashion with Lukaku on 7 and Kane on 8.
  • Neither team has lost by a margin of more than one goal this season.
  • What makes this game so interesting is that while Man United have four home wins, Spurs have four away. Somebody will end up upset for sure!

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
14/05/2017 Tottenham 2 – 1 Man United Premier League Wanyama 6′
11/12/2016 Man United 1 – 0 Tottenham Premier League Mkhitaryan 29′
10/04/2016 Tottenham 3 – 0 Man United Premier League Alli 70′
08/08/2015 Man United 1 – 0 Tottenham Premier League Walker 22′ (og)
15/03/2015 Man United 3 – 0 Tottenham Premier League Fellaini 9′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Given their home advantage, Manchester United have the shorter odds here of 5/2 at William Hill in comparison to Tottenham at 11/5. While these are two decent outright bets, there’s definitely some ways you can beef it up to give it extra value. For example, you can get Romelu Lukaku to score and Man United to win at 5/2 or Kane to score at Tottenham to win at 10/3. Yet my safest bet: go for the draw and both to score at 3/1.