Tottenham Hotspur: Your complete guide
The wait is nearly over: Friday night sees us travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time, to take on Jose Mourinho’s side.
Spurs sit eighth in the Premier League table, four points behind the Reds, after an eventful season which saw the North Londoners change manager in mid-November.
Mourinho has helped lift Tottenham from 14th in the league into their current position, and the Portuguese will be keen to get one over on his old club and move a step closer to securing Champions League football in N17 for the fifth consecutive season.
Need a refresher on Spurs after football's break? We’ve got you covered…
Like United, Tottenham have a number of star names back from injury after the three-month hiatus, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, Steven Bergwijn and Moussa Sissoko – all of whom missed Spurs’ last game, in March – pictured in training yesterday (Tuesday). One man who will definitely be absent for United’s visit is Dele Alli. The England midfielder scored a superb equaliser at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture, but he’s serving a one-match suspension for making light of the coronavirus outbreak on social media. Youngster Japhet Tanganga is also set to miss out, after suffering a stress fracture to his back.
Spurs’ last match prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown was the 3-0 defeat to RB Leipzig which saw them eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16. Earlier in March, the North Londoners had also exited the FA Cup, at the hands of our quarter-final opponents Norwich City, meaning Mourinho’s outfit can exclusively focus on the Premier League for the next six weeks. Tottenham’s league form has been fairly patchy in 2020, with three wins, two draws and four defeats recorded since the turn of the year. One of those victories, however, was an impressive 2-0 success against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in February.
Spurs faced Norwich in a warm-up friendly earlier this week, with Kane, Son, Bergwijn and Sissoko all featuring in a match split into 30-minute quarters. Erik Lamela gave Tottenham an early lead, but late goals from Josip Drmic and Mario Vrancic helped the Canaries to a 2-1 win.
OUR RECORD AGAINST TOTTENHAM
Friday’s match will be the first the Reds have played at Spurs’ shiny new ground, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping for a repeat of the last time we faced Tottenham away. Back in January 2019, Marcus Rashford’s calm, pinpoint finish ensured the Reds took home all three points from Spurs’ temporary Wembley home. That was the first time we’d beaten our hosts on their own turf since 2012, although we have a good record overall away at Spurs in the Premier League, with 13 wins, eight draws and just six defeats from 27 previous meetings.
Mourinho needs no introduction to United fans. The Portuguese was, of course, in charge at Old Trafford between July 2016 and December 2018, masterminding the Reds’ 2017 Europa League triumph and guiding us to EFL Cup success at Wembley earlier that year. The former Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan boss took over from Mauricio Pochettino in North London in November 2019, just in time for his side’s visit to Old Trafford the following month. A Marcus Rashford double ensured a United victory that night, but we’re yet to win against a Mourinho-managed side away from home. Let’s hope that changes on Friday!
ONE TO WATCH
If Rashford’s return provides a welcome boost for United, the availability of Kane for the first time since he suffered a hamstring injury at Southampton on New Year’s Day could be key for Mourinho’s men. The England forward netted 17 goals in 25 games in all competitions in the first half of the season and has two goals and an assist in his last five appearances against the Reds – including the decisive strike in a 2-1 win in May 2017, in Spurs’ last-ever game at the old White Hart Lane.
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