Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 20/21
Looking to carry on from where they left off prior to the enforced break, Manchester United will make the trip to an empty Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday night.
Starting with the hosts, last seen crashing out of the Champions League back in March thanks to a 4-0 aggregate hammering against Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, the enforced break couldn’t have come quick enough for Spurs. Making their return to action still sat outside the top-six, former United boss Jose Mourinho saw his side in the midst of what many were describing as an abysmal run of form earlier in the year. Also watching Premier League strugglers Norwich knock them out of the FA Cup on home soil, the Lilywhites had lost five of their previous six matchups across all formats and didn’t have a win to their name since snatching a dramatic late winner at Villa Park on February 16th. While Mourinho will be glad to be able to call upon a string of returning stars on Friday night, Tottenham had previously gained a reputation for their worrying issues in North London. Hit with a 3-2 defeat against Wolves in their last appearance at their new home, Spurs have lost each of their last three matchups on home soil, their worst run since moving from Wembley.
After having the enforced break to deal with a string of injury issues, Mourinho will be glad to know that the trio of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn are all available for selection on Friday.
However, Spurs will be unable to call upon England international Dele Alli who will be serving a one-match suspension for an off-field issue prior to the break.
As for the visitors, while Tottenham may have entered the enforced break in the midst of a real sluggish patch, Manchester United found the mood around Old Trafford starting to skyrocket. With January arrival Bruno Fernades making an immediate impact following his move from Sporting Lisbon, the former champions were last seen back in March when smashing five past LASK while on Europa League duties. Playing themselves firmly back into the Champions League chase, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side also shocked many with their last Premier League outing. Picking up local bragging rights thanks to a deserved 2-0 win against soon to be former champions Manchester City, Friday’s guests had won five of their last six contests across all competitions and were enjoying a remarkable 11-match unbeaten run. With an FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton on the horizon, United should also be boosted by their eye-catching record against Spurs. Landing a 2-1 win when the two sides last faced off back in December, Solskjaer’s side have won each of their last three meetings against Friday’s hosts.
Also with time to deal with some knocks to their biggest stars, the Red Devils will be glad to know that they can once again call upon Marcus Rashford who has overcome a back injury.
Elsewhere, also featuring in a behind-closed-doors friendly last week, Paul Pogba is set be handed a start alongside January arrival Bruno Fernandes.
Key Factors to Consider
- Including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture back in December, Manchester United have won each of their last three meetings against Spurs.
- Friday’s hosts had previously failed to win any of their last six matches across all competitions, losing five of those contests.
- The Red Devils has previously won their last three contests on the bounce and were enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run.
- Marcus Rashford had scored four goals in as many Premier League appearances before picking up his back injury.
- Four of the last five meetings between the two sides have seen over 2.5 goals at full-time.
On paper, Friday’s meeting in North London should prove to be a lively return to action. While Tottenham might have been drastically struggling with their form prior to the break, particularly at the back, there is no doubt that Jose Mourinho will be glad to see the likes of Harry Kane making a return to action on Friday. On the flip side, enjoying what was an outstanding run of form back in March and firing themselves back into the top-four picture, a free-scoring Manchester United should be relishing their own return to action this week. In a contest that should produce a string of chances and four of the last five meetings seeing over 2.5 goals by the final whistle, we’re backing a similar outcome in the capital.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 20/21