Manchester United travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in their second game of the new Premier League campaign. Kick-off is set for 17:30 BST Saturday 19th of August.
After an unconvincing win against Wolves, United have the chance to redeem themselves by ruining Postecoglou’s home debut.
How Spurs Look
Tottenham opened their domestic campaign away to Brentford in a 2-2 draw. Maddison showed his talents, settling quickly into his role at Spurs. The Englishman got 2 assists and showed extreme creativity being the focal point of Spurs’ chances.
Strength off set pieces is a huge danger that United will have to control. Just 11 minutes into the game against Brentford and Maddison found Romero with a free d to make it 1-0. United have been in recent years notoriously bad at defending set pieces, this may be a weak spot for Spurs to attack.
Tottenham showed a weakness in their defence, holding 70% possession but still conceding 11 shots.
Spurs are also still without a recognised prolific striker. Kanes replacement is currently Richarlison, a player who has only scored 1 goal in 28 Premier League appearances for Tottenham. Son is yet to show his Golden Boot-winning form since 21/22.
Cutting out Maddison will kill Spurs creativity, if United take him out of the game they will remove the majority of Tottenham’s attacking output.
Is United Ready?
United looked unconvincing against Wolves, With a lack of flow going forward United struggled to get on the front foot. Creativity was a huge issue with Bruno and Mount being such similar players the balance of the midfield seemed off. It may take some time for those players to get used to playing together.
Rasmus Hojlund and Kobbie Mainoo are still out due to injury. This means United are still without a number 9 which seemed to be a huge issue in their clash against Wolves. The lack of midfield balance is not helped by the injury to Mainoo, Ten Hag seems to admire the talent and with a more defensive mindset he offers United more stability by sitting closer to Casemiero.
Eriksen came on for Mount in the 68th minute against Wolves and improved the midfield balance. This may be a key option for United whilst Mount acclimatises to Ten Hag’s system, players like Maddison will be able to break down United’s defence if they are left exposed by the lack of a defensive structure in the midfield.
United will need to improve if they are to get a result against Tottenham. There is the potential for United to fall into a more counter-attacking style to get through this game. It is not the type of football Ten Hag wants to implement however with the way Postecoglou wants to attack it may be for United to get in behind and find a result.
It is all set up for United to struggle to try to get a result. Time and time again they were split apart by Wolves who do not have the creative players Spurs do. A more defensive United display should be expected.
Shutting down Spurs attacks and transitioning on the break is where United will be dangerous.
Tottenham will look to impress on Postecoglou’s home debut which may work against them as they commit men forward. Rashford will look to get in behind often and United will look to find that ball time and time again.
A score draw is the most likely result if you look at it on paper. 1-1 would not be a terrible result for United but will show the level of where we can expect to be this season.