Ryan Mason will replace the fired Cristian Stellini as manager of Tottenham until the end of the current campaign, less than a month after Antonio Conte was fired. It was wholly unacceptable for them to lose 6-1 to Newcastle on Sunday, according to chairman Daniel Levy, who moved swiftly to revive his team’s fading top four ambitions.
If Newcastle wins, a loss today may leave Spurs nine points shy of that goal, and it would be the first time since February 2022 that they have suffered three straight Premier League (PL) defeats. Since Manchester United has defeated Tottenham more often than any other team in Premier League history (39 victories), the Red Devils’ visit is consequently untimely.
That includes United’s current four games H2H winning streak. United returns to the capital in good spirits after beating Brighton 7-6 on penalties to get to the FA Cup final at the weekend. The fact that United has played 53 games so far this season, the most in Europe, may contribute to fatigue after a taxing 120 minutes. ”A top four finish is so important for a team that belongs in the UEFA Champions League,” according to manager Erik ten Hag.
The most PL clean sheets (14), as well as four shutouts in their last five league games (W3, D1, L1), have fueled the Red Devils’ surge. When they were eliminated from the European competition by Sevilla in their most recent away game, that steadfastness wasn’t on display, but each of United’s past six road losses has been followed by a win, so they should be confident of returning to the winning ways here.
Spurs’ bright glow Harry Kane hasn’t scored at home against the Red Devils since May 2017, but he needs just one goal to tie United icon Wayne Rooney for second most Premier League goals ever. Antony has been doing well lately for Ten Hag’s men. He scored and provided an assist in his team’s most recent PL game, a 2-0 victory away at Nottingham Forest.
Hugo Lloris, the Lilywhites’ starting goalkeeper, was taken off at halftime with a hip issue that does not appear to be improving, according to the Frenchman, as if the five goals thrashing at Newcastle wasn’t horrible enough for Tottenham.
Lloris will be welcomed into the medical room by Rodrigo Bentancur (knee), Emerson Royal (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), and Yves Bissouma (ankle). Lucas Moura has completed his three matches suspension, while Clement Lenglet and Ben Davies were both healthy enough to sit on the bench at St. James’ Park, though perhaps they regret it now.
Pape Sarr, who was the fall guy at Newcastle due to Stellini’s disastrous back four experiment, is sure to make way, and Mason should think about getting Davies back into the lineup right away if the Welshman can demonstrate his health.
In a similar vein, Man United also enters the midweek match with a fresh injury issue to an essential cog. Bruno Fernandes took a hit in Sunday’s extra time and has since been spotted at home using crutches and a protective boot.
With an injury that prevented him from playing in the FA Cup semifinal, Scott McTominay is also out, but at least Harry Maguire will be available for the Red Devils after serving his ban. The center back won’t be able to saunter back into the starting lineup, despite the need for fresh legs after 120 minutes, as Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof held strong at Wembley.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup
Forster, Romero, Dier, Davies, Porro, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Perisic, Kulusevski, Kane and Son.
Manchester United possible starting lineup
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Eriksen, Casemiro, Sabitzer, Antony, Martial and Rashford.
We predict: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United
Since 2021, there hasn’t been a Premier League draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but with Mason likely to give Spurs at least some encouragement and them continuing to easily score goals despite their difficulties, the Lilywhites can bring some calm back with a well earned point.
Spurs should definitely take advantage of any new doubts regarding the fitness of creator in chief Fernandes, Red Devils supporters won’t need any reminders of how they fared without the Portuguese against Sevilla last week. On another day, Man United could have easily been eliminated by Brighton in the FA Cup.