What will be the deciding factor against Tottenham?

Monday 15 June 2020 17:43

Former Manchester United players Mark Robins and Richie Wellens agree that match sharpness is likely to decide Friday’s return to Premier League action against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds have not played a competitive game since beating LASK back on 12 March, but the entire squad worked diligently throughout the ensuing lockdown period and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased by the condition of his players when they returned to the Aon Training Complex in late May.  

United have recently played a series of practice matches in an effort to build sharpness, including a couple of beneficial friendlies against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford last Friday. It is hoped those dress rehearsals will have a positive impact when the real action resumes this weekend.  

Tottenham were last in action on 10 March and their preparations for this week's big match have been mixed, after they lost to Norwich City before a second friendly against Reading was cancelled.

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During an appearance on our MUTV Group Chat series on Monday, former United hero Robins discusses the Premier League’s return and explains his hope that United will continue to “click” against Spurs.

“Fingers crossed they will be in the top four,” says Robins, who has just won the League One title as Coventry City boss after their season was cancelled.

“United have started to look like they were clicking and ever since Fernandes came in they have looked a lot better. They have got some injured players back – Rashford is a big one and Pogba is a big one, so hopefully they can both settle in. 

“But as everybody knows, when you have been out for a length of time, it does take a little bit of time to get back so hopefully it can all click. I don't know if everybody has been watching the German Bundesliga, but without supporters it is totally different. You have got to get used to that as well. But I am looking forward to the return of it in fairness.”

Wellens appears alongside Robins in Monday’s episode of MUTV Group Chat and agrees that United face a challenge on Friday night, against a Tottenham team that will be fully prepared.

“It is not going to be an easy one on Friday because we have seen Mourinho, he's had the Spurs players running in the park for eight or nine weeks now [laughs], so one thing is that they will be ready to go,” says Wellens, whose Swindon Town team have just clinched League Two.
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“There won't be any bedding-in period for Mourinho and especially [because he's] playing against United again. So it is a tough one to start off with but the signs are good. Fernandes and Pogba are obviously the big ones. If they can get a combination going and learn to play with each other, with the likes of Martial and Rashford feeding off them, then you've got some top players up front.”

Watch a new episode of MUTV Group Chat on Tuesday from 16:00 BST.