Manchester United vs Tottenham Preview | Line-Up, Stats and Key Players

Manchester United vs Tottenham Preview | Line-Up, Stats and Key Players

There are only three Premier League matches on Saturday, but the game at Old Trafford could be the highlight of the weekend. Manchester United host Tottenham, in a match that both sides ideally need to win if they are to finish in the top four. Arsenal are currently the frontrunners, but a win for either side in this match would be a major shot in the arm. In the previous meeting, United ran out comfortable winners in a result that caused Tottenham to appoint Antonio Conte. If it had been the opposite result, the Italian could have been in the home dugout this weekend.

Ralf Rangnick has added structure to Manchester United and he hasn’t lost many games. However, the jury is still out on his leadership as problems remain at the club. They all came to the fore last weekend, when they were easily beaten by City in the Manchester derby. At one point, City had had 95% in the last five minutes of action, which is an embarrassment for United. They were played off the park and looked a much inferior side. This weekend will be tough, but Rangnick desperately needs a win to keep their Premier League season alive. A loss to Spurs would all but end their top four hopes.
Like Rangnick, Conte has faced certain difficulties since taking his new post. They went through a poor run of form when they lost five in six matches and their own top four hopes looked in doubt. Spurs have won their last two Premier League matches. It looks like Conte’s comments after the Burnley loss have had the desired impact, as the performances have improved since. However, he will know that there is still work to do. Sandwiched between the emphatic Leeds and Everton victories, the North London side lost to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. The next task for Spurs is to find consistency.
Interesting stats
 
Tottenham have been on the losing side to Manchester United on 37 occasions. No team has beaten them more often in the Premier League era.
Although Tottenham don’t have a good overall record against United, they have won on two of their last three visits to Old Trafford.
Key men
 
Sancho
 

The last few weeks have been great for Jadon Sancho. There was an adjustment period at the beginning of the season. It seemed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t really know how to get the best from the England international, as his role was changed regularly. Although there are doubts about Rangnick’s suitability to lead Manchester United, he has had a positive impact on Sancho. The interim manager will know about Sancho’s quality from his time in Germany, so it isn’t a surprise that he has given the winger a new lease of life. He has scored three goals and assisted twice in his last eight matches across all competitions. Sancho hadn’t caught fire, but there has been an improvement and he could be important this weekend. Tottenham do have weaknesses down the flanks and Sancho has the qualities to have an impact.

Kane

It has been an impressive return to form for Harry Kane. He is getting back to his best under Antonio Conte. The performances against Manchester City, Leeds and Everton have been incredible. Although Spurs have been inconsistent, Kane continues to deliver to a high standard in 2022. If Tottenham are to finish in the top four, they will need their striker to retain these high standards. The England captain is in a run of five goals in four matches, as he starts to win matches for Tottenham. He can finally put the difficult start to the season behind him and look ahead to a brighter future at Spurs. Manchester United have well documented issues in defensive midfield. This should suit Kane as he can drop deep and influence play. Meanwhile, his goal-scoring confidence is back and he should find joy going up against a struggling Harry Maguire. This is set for another match winning performance from the striker.

Team news
Manchester United have several doubts going into this weekend. Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo are all facing battles to be passed fit. Rangnick may choose to hold some back for the Champions League tie in the week.
Ryan Sessegnon has been ruled out for a few weeks. This could mean a return to the starting eleven for Sergio Reguilon. Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp are expected to miss the game.
Verdict
This is going to be an interesting game. Manchester United haven’t been as bad as people have suggested under Rangnick, but they desperately need a good performance against one of their rivals. Tottenham have been showing improvements under Conte. Their front three will cause a lot of problems for the home side. A score draw could be a good prediction. this would be a result that benefitted neither side.
Manchester United 2-2 Tottenham