MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 14:29:07| >> :120:3843:3843:
Aug 27, 2018 at 8pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 74,400
Man UtdManchester United
SpursTottenham Hotspur
FT(HT: 0-0)
Kane (50'), Moura (52', 84')

Preview: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of Tottenham Hotspur's trip to Manchester United in the Premier League.

Manchester United will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Premier League on Monday evening when Tottenham Hotspur travel to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were beaten 3-2 away at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out and are already left playing catch-up on their title rivals just a fortnight into the season.

Manchester United

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks unimpressed during his side's Premier League clash with Brighton on August 19, 2018© Reuters

Despite Jose Mourinho's claims to the contrary in Friday's pre-match press conference, all is clearly not well behind the scenes at Man United. A manager seemingly at war with his board and players reportedly unsettled, this season could well prove a disaster.

Mourinho's third campaign tends to end that way, of course, although on those previous occasions, he has either been sacked or walked away following relative success across the first two years. An EFL Cup and Europa League would not constitute success when factoring in his £400m outlay on new players.

For all the Portuguese's complaints about a failure to bring in a centre-back and winger during the summer, United still possess some of the finest players on the continent. Mourinho, though, seems unable to motivate his men and get an extra few per cent out of them in the same way that Pep Guardiola does down the road.

Last week's loss at Brighton may just have been the worst display produced by United under Mourinho, as they not only shipped three first-half goals for just the 10th time in their Premier League history, they then offered next to nothing when attempting to get back into the game in the second 45 minutes.

Not since 2012 had the Red Devils lost their first away league outing of the season, and with this showdown with Spurs coming after each of their other title rivals have already played, it is no wonder that midfielder Fred has described it as a must-win game.

To give Mourinho's time at United some perspective, the 2-1 win recorded against Leicester City on the opening day of the season took the Special One to 153 Premier League points since arriving at Old Trafford two summers ago, putting his side 16 points behind Tottenham in that same timeframe.

With no new players incoming before January at the earliest, Mourinho must simply get the best out of those available to him. Defeat to Tottenham on Monday, however, and his biggest concern will be staying in the job long enough to make any new signings at all.

Recent form in Premier League: WL
Recent form (including pre-season): DLWLWL

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino barks instructions during his side's Premier League clash with Newcastle United on August 11, 2018© Reuters

Mauricio Pochettino has had more reason to complain about transfer activity than opposite number Mourinho, as chairman Daniel Levy failed to sanction a single transfer during the off-season, becoming the first Premier League club to go an entire summer without doing so since the window was introduced in 2003.

In typical fashion, however, Spurs have racked up six points from six across the first two weeks of the season, holding off a strong effort from Newcastle United on the opening weekend and following it up with a well-earned 3-1 win at home to Fulham last time out.

The biggest positive to come out of that London derby victory at Wembley Stadium was Harry Kane's second-half goal, ending his barren August streak without scoring that stood at 14 matches before kickoff.

Kane does not exactly boast the best of records in this fixture, scoring just once in nine outings, but his goalscoring return of 18 against the big six sides is two better than United striker Romelu Lukaku, despite 2008 fewer minutes on the field.

Tottenham's settled side looks ready for another possible title charge if the first two weeks are anything to go by, but that has not stopped Pochettino from claiming that he is 'under pressure' and finds it 'impossible to relax'.

Winning a trophy of some sort this season is imperative for Spurs, especially if they are to keep each of their star players out of the reach of their domestic and European rivals. With United and Liverpool to face in their next three outings, it will soon become clear as to whether the Premier League is a realistic target.

In Pochettino, though, the Lilywhites know that they have one of the finest managers around. The Argentine is one win away from a landmark 200 in management, with 123 of those coming as Tottenham boss.

After losing his first seven league encounters with Mourinho in the English top flight, Pochettino has since lost just two of the last six and has had the last laugh more often than not in the past couple of years. Should he reach that milestone 200 figure at Old Trafford, many will wonder why United did not try harder to lure him to the Theatre of Dreams two years ago.

Recent form in Premier League: WW
Recent form (including pre-season): WDWLWW

Team News

Nemanja Matic in action for Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final on April 21, 2018© Reuters

Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia have been in training for more than a week and could give Mourinho a boost by making themselves fit to feature on Monday, meaning that Andreas Pereira and Luke Shaw may make way.

After being given time to work his way back to fitness, Jesse Lingard appears ready to start for the first time since the World Cup, giving the hosts a far more direct option than the out-of-position Juan Mata on the right of a front three.

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof came in for criticism for their display against Brighton, meanwhile, but it remains to be seen whether Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will be recalled to the starting lineup.

In terms of the visiting side, Pochettino has no fresh injury concerns and may well opt to go with a settled starting lineup.

Spurs went with a back three against Fulham, utilising the strengths of Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier out wide, while also shoehorning each of Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld into the side.

Skipper Hugo Lloris was arrested for an alleged drink-driving offence on Friday morning, however, which could potentially mean a rare start for Michel Vorm.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Valencia; Pogba, Matic, Fred; Rashford, Lukaku, Lingard

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Vorm; Sanchez, Vertonghen, Alderweireld; Trippier, Alli, Dier, Eriksen, Davies; Moura; Kane

Head To Head

Man United have won 21 of their 26 home Premier League matches against Tottenham, including victories in each of the last four encounters without conceding a goal.

In fact, Spurs have lost more Prem games at Old Trafford than any other team at any ground in the competition's history.

The home team has won this fixture on each of the last seven occasions since March 2015, compared to just seven of the previous 24 games.

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We say: Manchester United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

United could head into this match sitting six points behind a few of their expected title rivals. It is a game that has been described as must-win by one of their players, but Tottenham will not make life easy for the Red Devils and will surely consider a point a positive outcome this early in the season.

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Paul Pogba in action for Manchester United during the FA Cup final on May 19, 2018
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