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Man United vs Tottenham: 3 key battles that could decide the outcome of this epic encounter

Manchester United vs Tottenham: 3 key battles that could decide the result

Tottenham travel to Old Trafford as they face off against Manchester United in a high-octane encounter between the two sides.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho would be returning to United for the first time since being last year by the Red Devils’ hierarchy and would be aiming to prove them wrong.

Meanwhile, for Manchester United, it is a must-win game as they are closer to the relegation zone, with just six points keeping them up. Their chances of finishing in the top-four look bleak and a loss would put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under further scrutiny.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Image credit: Getty)
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Image credit: Getty)

Spurs, under their new manager, have reached the top-six and would be aiming to close the gap with Chelsea, who are in 4th place.

This fixture has always been played with a higher intensity. Though United have a better head to head record, at this point, Tottenham look to be stronger than the Red Devils.

While United are without a win in their last three games, the Lilywhites have produced excellent results after Mourinho took over the reins from Mauricio Pochettino. Let’s take a look at some interesting tactical battles that await us.

Three Key Battles – Manchester United vs Tottenham

Battle of the bosses

With a bunch of youngsters, Solskjaer would be hoping to see an improvement in their game against Spurs. Though he prefers a 4-3-3 formation, Solskjaer has gone with a 4-2-3-1 formation is recent games except for the one against Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is a fan of the 4-2-3-1 formation and always depends on his defensive midfielder in building up a game.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

Though there might be no difference in the formation from both managers, the Portuguese would look to attack using the strengths of Dele Alli, who has brought life back into their dull attack.

Moreover, it has been a tough season for Solskjaer, with a number of injuries to the squad including important players Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Weak midfield

McTominay brought balance for United in the centre after Pogba god injured. The former’s injury has now left United with only Fred and Andreas Pereira.

While Fred has looked better in recent days, Pereira’s regular inclusion has raised questions of the team selection. He was outshined physically in the game against Sheffield United and he was also dispossessed very easily.

Fred (Getty Images)
Fred (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, it would be interesting to see how United’s midfield would cope with the high pressing of Mourinho’s men, especially against Son, Alli, and Moura, who have the pace to charge at the right time.

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Kane, Son, and Moura vs United’s unsteady backline

United’s defence was torn apart in their last two league matches against Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

Harry Kane (Getty Images)
Harry Kane (Getty Images)

At Bramall Lane, they were outclassed by Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick’s pace and skill. And against Villa, Jack Grealish tormented them with his positioning, not to forget his wonderful goal that perplexed David De Gea.

Harry Maguire doesn’t seem to prove his worth and Victor Lindelof seems to be low on confidence.

While Kane is considered to be lethal in front of goal, Son and Moura have risen to the occasion lately. And Alli’s resurgence of late must be a threat to United. He can pull the strings at any point.