Manchester United return to Premier League action tonight, but face an arduous task as they travel to Tottenham Hotspur.
Whilst many would expect another comfortable victory over Ryan Mason’s woeful outfit, there almost has to be a reaction from the Lilywhites after their recent 6-1 hammering, especially in front of their home support.
Not to mention that Erik ten Hag’s side remain ravaged by injuries, and are fresh off the back of a rough 120-minute FA Cup clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.
A win for either side could be crucial in turning the tide as they enter the run-in, with the Red Devils vying to secure Champions League football once again at Old Trafford, as Spurs seek to displace them. It should therefore make for an enthralling encounter, although the same was expected of their league last clash.
With those aforementioned stumbling blocks sure to prohibit the visitors from boasting their strongest lineup, it will be interesting to see how the Dutchman attacks this all-important fixture.
How will Manchester United line up against Tottenham Hotspur?
Ten Hag could make just three changes from the side that scraped past the Seagulls at Wembley, seeking to retain the core that led them to their second cup final of the season.
David De Gea will remain in goal, having kept Roberto De Zerbi’s side largely quiet throughout their last game. He will sit behind a back four only slightly altered, as Harry Maguire comes back in as the sole change.
Although the £190k-per-week dud is often criticised, having been branded a “liability” by journalist Zach Lowy in the past, he remains one of few central defenders left fit and available.
This will see Luke Shaw return to full-back with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as their penalty shootout hero Victor Lindelof starts again at the heart of defence, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane absent through injury.
Given Bruno Fernandes was forced off before that shootout, where he would have been keen to showcase his expertise, the Portuguese maestro remains a doubt for tonight’s clash too.
This could hand Marcel Sabitzer another chance to impress, as the Austrian likely seeks to prove why Ten Hag should make his move a permanent one in the summer. He will sit just in front of the ever-present Christian Eriksen and Casemiro.
Anthony Martial’s fitness woes in the past also present a concern, so the Frenchman would be a surprise inclusion to start two games in just five days, Therefore, Wout Weghorst may return to spearhead United’s attack.
His size and pressing impetus could prove vital in affording space for Marcus Rashford and Antony, who will flank the Dutchman.
Predicted Man Utd XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Eriksen, Casemiro, Sabitzer; Antony, Weghorst, Rashford.
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