Match preview: United v Spurs

Wednesday 09 March 2022 07:00

Manchester United have the opportunity to pick up a huge three points in the top-four race when we face Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

Antonio Conte’s Spurs are the visitors to Old Trafford for Saturday evening’s 17:30 GMT kick-off in the Premier League, with a lot at stake in the race for Champions League qualification. 

The sides, currently occupying fifth and seventh place respectively in the table, are both firmly in pursuit of qualifying for next season’s version of European football’s elite club competition and are separated by just two points while the visitors currently have two games in hand on United. 

It makes extending that gap with a win, and thus leapfrogging fourth-placed Arsenal, even more important in our upcoming outing.

Ahead of it, here is all of the key information that you need…

'You've got to dust yourselves down'


John O'Shea on how United's players can help put derby-day defeat behind them.


In the UK, Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. Alternatively, you can follow along with our matchday coverage as always, where we will keep you updated throughout, via and the Manchester United App, with the latter having rolling updates, in-game data and expert insight.

We’ll also have the usual live radio commentary for you on MUTV, along with pre-match build-up from 16:25 GMT and all the reaction from Old Trafford after the final whistle. 


Like United, Tottenham are also looking to secure a Champions League berth this season, while hoping to end what has been a two-season absence from the competition. Our 3-0 victory at their north London home earlier this season brought the end to Nuno Espirito Santo’s short reign in charge of the club, with former Chelsea manager Conte taking charge shortly after.

The Italian has implemented his trademark three-at-the-back system over recent months and notably helped star man Harry Kane rediscover his goalscoring form. The England captain reached double digits for the league season on Monday night, having netted just once in the 2021/22 competition prior to Conte's arrival in N17. 


The Reds were without defenders Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane (both Covid), plus forwards Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo (both injured) for last Sunday’s derby away to Manchester City. Ralf Rangnick could provide an update on the quartet’s availability for Saturday’s outing during his pre-match press conference on Friday. 

As for Tottenham, the visitors have one fresh injury concern to worry about in the aftermath of Monday’s victory over Everton and that comes in the form of wing-back Ryan Sessegnon. The 21-year-old was replaced at half-time of that 5-0 win having picked up a muscle issue, with Conte saying in his post-match press conference that the former Fulham man would be evaluated on Tuesday.

Fellow defender Japhet Tanganga and midfielder Oliver Skipp have been out for a sustained period and the Spurs manager could potentially provide the latest news on all three during his press conference later in the week.

Rangnick explains absentees


Our interim boss confirms why Ronaldo, Varane, Shaw and Cavani are not in the matchday squad.


The Reds will be keen to respond following our first Premier League defeat in nine matches, against Manchester City last time out. United had previously only lost to Wolves in the league since the turn of the year and can extend an unbeaten run at home in the competition to five games by avoiding defeat in Saturday’s late kick-off. 

Spurs come into the game off the back of their two biggest wins of the Premier League season so far, putting five past Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday evening, less than a week after winning 4-0 at Leeds. Having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Middlesbrough in between, Conte’s side are still targeting successive wins across all competitions for the first time since December, but they will be looking to erase that stat at the weekend by picking up a second win in Manchester in less than a month, having taken all three points away to Manchester City in mid-February. 
Goal of the Day: Ronaldo v Tottenham Video

Goal of the Day: Ronaldo v Tottenham

Cristiano Ronaldo was still a teenager when he struck his first goal against Tottenham…


Saturday’s match will be the 197th competitive meeting between the two clubs, dating back to January 1899. United have the better of the all-time record winning 93 of those games to Tottenham’s 53, while 50 have ended in draws.

The Reds have also had the better of the recent match-ups, winning four of the last six (one draw, one defeat), including a 3-0 triumph in October, but the visitors’ victory during that run was by a 6-1 scoreline in last season’s corresponding fixture.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford were on target for the Reds in the reverse fixture, earlier this campaign.

Our game is one of 13 fixtures across the Premier League’s Matchweek 29, with three rearranged matches scheduled for the midweek after this weekend’s standard 10-game slate. Here’s the division’s schedule for the next few days or so in full…


Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool (12:30 GMT)
Brentford v Burnley (15:00 GMT)
UNITED v Tottenham Hotspur (17:30 GMT)


Chelsea v Newcastle United
Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers 
Leeds United v Norwich City
Southampton v Watford
West Ham United v Aston Villa
Arsenal v Leicester City (16:30 GMT)


Crystal Palace v Manchester City (20:00 GMT)


Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur (19:30 GMT)
Arsenal v Liverpool (20:15 GMT)


Everton v Newcastle United (19:45 GMT)

All kick-offs are 14:00 GMT unless stated.