Extra recovery time to lift Spurs
With the reverse fixture and 6-1 win for Jose Mourinho’s side being one of the standout matches of this Premier League season, Manchester United travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday with a point to prove. They are in Europa League action in Granada on Thursday and therefore will have far less time to prepare and recover for this match compared to the hosts. Coming in off the back of the international break, this gives Tottenham Hotspur the upper hand. The underlying numbers point towards the visitors however, looking at the background to this fixture, there is definitely value in getting the pragmatic Portuguese’s men on side.
11 points separate the two sides, Spurs in sixth, United in second, very satisfying for visitors manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who took the reigns from Mourinho. The Norwegian gaffer will be hoping to repeat Mourinho’s feat in winning the Europa League at United this season, to get the ‘has not won a trophy yet’ monkey off of his back.
Spurs have been lacklustre this season and their individual attacking quality has dug them out of trouble enough to leave with a good shot at European football with eight games to go. Gareth Bale has picked up of late and coupled with the world class talents of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min if they can get a foothold in a match you cannot write them off. They sit 10th in the expected goals standings compared to United’s fifth position, unsustainably overperforming their data this season. That is kind of Mourinho’s style, his sit back and absorb pressure approach does not lean his team towards strong numbers and with greater preparation time should be able to test his former employers once again.
With the reverse fixture and attacking quality in the squads in mind I cannot get involved with an unders play, despite the prices looking of value. If Spurs cannot get up for this match then they are falling away as a top six club, Mourinho’s pride will be on the line here.
- Spurs have scored in nine of 10.
- Spurs have conceded in five of 10.
- Spurs have seen both teams score in four of 10.
- Spurs have seen over 2.5 goals in seven of 10.
- United have scored in seven of 10.
- United have conceded in four of 10.
- United have seen both teams score in four of 10.
- United have seen over 2.5 goals in three of 10.
The schedule being the main angle in for me, Spurs have the quality and with the right application, earn a positive result in this one.