Will Tottenham Hotspur be stymied by a faltering Manchester United?

Will Tottenham Hotspur be stymied by a faltering Manchester United?

Tottenham Hotspur will face Manchester United in the 21st round of the 2023-2024 Premier League (PL) season at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET. Tottenham currently sits in fifth place with 39 points (12 wins, 3 draws, and 5 losses), while United is ninth with 31 points (10 wins, 1 draw, and 9 losses).

Tottenham made a huge splash early on this season. They were unbeaten through 10 rounds with eight wins and two draws, leapfrogging Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal. The “attacking soccer” implanted by new coach Enzi Postecoglou shone through.

But what awaited after the 10-match unbeaten run was a five-match winless streak. Injuries to Mickey van der Vaart and James Maddison, as well as a red card for Cristian Romero, began to take their toll on Spurs. A 1-4 loss to Chelsea, a 1-2 loss to Wolverhampton, a 1-2 loss to Aston Villa, a 3-3 draw to Man City, and a 1-2 loss to West Ham were the worst of the run.

Fortunately, the slump didn’t last much longer.

Spurs rebounded with four wins in five league games, starting with a 4-1 thrashing of Newcastle last month. They also beat Burnley 1-0 in the FA Cup round of 64 on June 6 to advance to the next round. Add to that a win over United and Spurs can close the gap on first-place Liverpool (45 points) and stay in contention for the title.

United are not in a great mood. They were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) at the bottom of their group, and in their last league game, they lost 1-2 at Nottingham Forest. The only consolation is that they made it to the last 32 of the FA Cup with a win over Wigan last week.

A dull offense is holding them back United have scored just 22 goals in 20 league games, 카지노사이트 the third fewest out of 20 teams. Even the combined goals of Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford (3+), Rasmus Hojlund, and Anthony Martial (1+) are fewer than the 12 goals scored by Son Heung-min alone.

There are even talks of manager Eric ten Hagh being sacked. After the Wigan game, United legend Roy Keane said, “Is there a DNA that he’s trying to bring to the team? No, there’s not. That’s the problem with United,” he said, adding, “Van Gaal has mentioned projects. That probably means he will be sacked in the coming months.”

With both teams in the hunt for a top-four finish, this is a game with six points at stake. United need a win even more, as Van Gaal’s job is at stake.

The biggest factor will be the changes to Tottenham’s squad.

Spurs are without captain Son Heung-min for the Asian Cup, while starting midfielders Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma are also away for the Africa Cup of Nations. In addition, James Maddison, Ben Davies, and Giovani Lo Celso are out with injuries, and it’s unclear if Christian Romero will return.

The only good news is the return of Mickey van der Vaart, who injured his hamstring against Chelsea in November last year and is set to make his comeback in this match.

In addition, two newcomers, Radu Dragucin and Timo Werner, are also set to make their debuts. Both arrived in a Tottenham shirt in the January transfer window. Dragucin signed a long-term deal through June 2030, while Werner joined on a short-term loan until the end of the season.

Dragucin is a 6-foot-2 center back with strong physicality. His biggest strengths are his ability to fight aerial battles and intercept dribbles, which is why he was nicknamed the “Romanian Van Dijk” in Italy.

Werner is an attacker with explosive pace and penetration into the back four. He can play on both the flanks and in the center, and is expected to play primarily on the left flank in Son’s absence. His indecisiveness is a major weakness, but he could be a new option for Tottenham, who are short on attacking options.

In the UK, Football London predicted a start for Werner and a bench start for Dragucin.

The outlet predicts that the starting lineup will be as follows: Hicharisson, Werner-Dejan Kulusebski-Brennan Johnson, Rodrigo Bentancur-Oliver Skip, Destiny Udogie-Van der Vaan-Romero-Pedro Foro, and Guglielmo Vicario.

A tightly contested match. The supercomputer favored United. Football statistics outlet Opta ran a simulation on a supercomputer and gave United a 40.3% chance of winning, almost 9% higher than Tottenham’s 31.5%. There is a 28.2% chance of a draw.

The absence of Son Heung-min and Maddison seems to have had a big impact. According to Opta, Tottenham’s best player is Son Heung-min, who has an 85.7 rating this season, and the second best is Maddison, who has a 75.3 rating, but both are unavailable for this game. United, on the other hand, have an advantage over Spurs as Diogo Dalot (74.4 points) and Ander Onana (70.3 points) are both available.

It all comes down to how well Spurs can fill the void left by Son. Spurs have lost six of their last 10 league games without Son. With five goals in five games in the last month, it’s up to him to step up.

Opta added: “Tottenham beat United 2-0 in August thanks to a brace from Sarr and an own goal from Lisandro Martinez. “Spurs are now looking to complete a league double against United for the first time since the 1989-1990 season, and with four wins and 13 defeats in their last 17 away games against the Red Devils, this should be another tight affair.”

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