Tottenham v United: Your guide to the game
After three wins out of three in Australia and Singapore, Manchester United's fourth pre-season game pits us against Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai.
As we count down to the game, here’s the key information you need to know…
WILL THIS GAME BE SHOWN ON MUTV?
Yes - like each and every one of United’s six pre-season games, it will be shown live on MUTV. Our channel's exclusive build-up begins at 11:30 BST on Thursday, one hour before kick-off at 12:30 BST (19:30 local time).
HOW HAVE BOTH SIDES BEEN FARING?
After overcoming Perth Glory and Leeds United in Perth, we headed to Asia and Singapore, where we defeated Inter Milan 1-0 in our International Champions Cup opener thanks to a strike from Mason Greenwood. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men trained in Singapore for the final time on Monday and arrived in Shanghai in the evening, local time.
Spurs, who were in the Lion City at the same time as United, got their pre-season preparations underway on Sunday by beating Juventus 3-2 in the ICC at the Singapore National Stadium. Harry Kane's spectacular goal from the halfway line settled the match in injury time and completed a second-half turnaround after ex-Reds star Cristiano Ronaldo had helped the Old Lady go 2-1 in front. Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura were also on the scoresheet for the North Londoners, while new signing Tanguy Ndombele made his first appearance for the club, coming off the bench after 63 minutes.
HAVE WE PLAYED IN SHANGHAI BEFORE?
The Reds have played in Shanghai on three previous occasions, the last of which saw us suffer a disappointing 4-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the ICC in 2016. Four years earlier, we faced local side Shanghai Shenhua ahead of the 2012/13 season and won 1-0 courtesy of Shinji Kagawa’s strike. Our first visit to the Chinese city came in 1999, when goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham ensured the Reds beat Shenhua 2-0.
United have played at the Shanghai Stadium during our three previous trips to the city, yet on this occasion United will play at the Hongkou Stadium - home to local side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. The 33,000-capacity arena was originally built in 1955 and at the time was China’s first ever football-specific arena. However, since then it has been redeveloped, and the modern Hongkou Stadium was opened again in 1999.
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP?
The ICC is an international pre-season tournament which brings some of the best teams in the world together, in some of the globe’s most impressive stadiums. The competition’s format has altered over the years but in 2019, 12 teams are competing in the event, with each playing three matches in multiple venues throughout the world. This year, the tournament is staged across Europe, Asia and the United States of America and will ultimately see one side finish top of the 12-team group. It is also worth noting that all games in the ICC which end in a draw are decided by a penalty shootout, with teams awarded two points for a win on penalties and one point for a shootout defeat.
WHO ELSE IS PLAYING?
United and Spurs are joined in the tournament by Premier League rivals Arsenal this year, while there are four Serie A representatives in the form of Inter Milan - who we beat 1-0 in Singapore on Saturday - Juventus, AC Milan and Roma. Joining the English and Italian sides in the event are Bayern Munich, Benfica, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, while Mexican outfit Guadalajara are the only non-European club in the competition.
WHAT'S OUR RECORD IN THE ICC LIKE?
This is the sixth time we have competed in the tournament; the first came in 2014. On that occasion, the Reds were crowned the winners, beating Liverpool in the final after overcoming Inter Milan, Roma and Real Madrid in the group stage. The following year, United finished third out of 10 teams competing in the North America and Europe section, while in 2016, our game against rivals Manchester City had to be cancelled due to extreme weather. Last summer, the Reds won two out of three games, beating AC Milan on penalties and then Real Madrid 2-1, but lost to rivals Liverpool.
HOW DID TOTTENHAM GET ON LAST SEASON?
Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League in 2018/19 after picking up 71 points. It’s the fourth year in a row that the north London club have finished in the top four and, of course, means they will play in the Champions League next season. Tottenham will be hoping to go one better in Europe’s elite competition in the upcoming term after they made it to the final last time around. In the Carabao Cup, Spurs also faced late disappointment when they were eliminated in the semi-final stage against Chelsea, while in the FA Cup they lost 2-0 at Crystal Palace in the fourth round.
Mauricio Pochettino, a man we’ve faced 14 times since he arrived in English football in January 2013. The Argentinian's first taste of the Premier League came with Southampton, and after a season and a half with the club, he joined Spurs in 2014. A four-time Premier League Manager of the Month award winner, Pochettino has helped establish Tottenham as one of the top sides in the country in recent years.
WHAT'S OUR RECORD AGAINST TOTTENHAM?
Along with the Reds, Tottenham are one of just six ever-presents in the Premier League era and are therefore one of our more familiar foes. Since the league’s inception in 1992, we’ve played Spurs 54 times in the Premier League and have won 34, drawn 11 and lost just nine of those previous meetings. Overall, we’ve locked horns with Tottenham on 191 occasions in all competitions and have beaten the Londoners 90 times, drawn 49 and lost 52 of those encounters. In the club’s last meeting in January 2019, Marcus Rashford scored the only goal as the Reds prevailed 1-0 at Wembley.
A CLASSIC ENCOUNTER
United had to come from two goals behind to overcome Tottenham in April 2009. Darren Bent and Luka Modric had put the visitors 2-0 ahead inside 32 minutes at Old Trafford, a scoreline the Reds still trailed by 10 minutes into the second half. However, braces from Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney soon changed that, before former Spurs man Dimitar Berbatov grabbed a late fifth for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in a thrilling contest.
WHO IS THEIR STAR MAN?
In recent seasons, Harry Kane has established himself as one of the world’s most consistent scorers. A ruthless finisher who is capable of netting all types of goals, the 25-year-old has already racked up 125 Premier League strikes. He has also shown his leadership skills and was selected as England captain by manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
WHO ELSE ARE WE PLAYING IN PRE-SEASON?
After we've played Spurs, we'll be heading back to Europe to take on Norwegian side Kristiansund in Oslo on 30 July. To finish our pre-season tour - and our ICC campaign - we have a trip to Cardiff on 3 August, where we’ll play AC Milan.
As with all the pre-season games, United v Tottenham in Shanghai on Thursday (12:30 BST) will be shown live on MUTV.
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