Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United: Acid Test for Solskjaer’s New United Against High Flying Spurs

manchester unitedThis contest has all the hallmarks of being a potential classic. After four Premier League victories in succession, Manchester United travel to Wembley and face a stern examination of their new-found confidence against title chasing Tottenham Hotspur, in the weekend’s stand-out fixture of the Premier League on Sunday afternoon – kick: off 16:30 GMT.

Just four weeks ago, Manchester United were embroiled in Mourinho-nomics as the Red Devils were making their inevitable slide towards Premier League insignificance. United’s legendary goalscorer of days gone by, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unveiled as the somewhat surprise ‘temporary’ manager, following Mourinho’s demise until Manchester United decide upon a more permanent commander in chief this summer.

tottenhamIronically, the bookmakers’ favourite to take the full-time reigns at Old Trafford is none other than current Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino, who has moulded his Tottenham side into one of the most feared and revered teams in the Premier League. Spurs sit two points behind Manchester City and six adrift of Liverpool in third place in the table before this weekend’s fixtures, and realise this game is a ‘must-win’ to keep up with the pacesetters ahead.

United have new found belief and confidence under their new boss, and you can be assured that the Reds will attack with gusto against Spurs. It will be interesting to see how much of Solskjaer’s Dubai training camp will have had an effect on his team, in comparison to Spurs’ battling 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Chelsea on Tuesday evening. One thing is for sure, it isn’t a game to be missed!

Match Odds

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Tottenham lead Manchester United by ten points in the league table and with that in mind, it will come as no surprise to see Pochettino’s side as the strong favourites with the bookmakers to claim the spoils on Sunday afternoon.

Spurs are available at 19/17 with Unibet to regain the winning thread in front of their home supporters in the Premier League following their 3-1 defeat by Wolves in late December. Tottenham have since scored 11 goals in their last three outings, and that’s an indication of their strong recent form.

A United away win is narrowly preferred as the second favourite in the Match Odds market at 45/17 with Unibet, while a stalemate – hardly useful to either team – can be taken with 10Bet at the best industry price at the time of writing of 19/17.

United broke the sequence of six games without victory over Tottenham away from Old Trafford with a 2-1 win over Spurs in last season’s FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley last April. It was supposedly played at a ‘neutral’ venue, however, Spurs have had the National Stadium as their adopted home for the last eighteen months, so neutral was hardly the correct description.

This game really is a tough one to call in my view. Both teams are desperate for the points for contrasting reasons, but the spoils could well be shared in this game, which is a result that neither club would hope for.

Individual Goal Scorers

Harry Kane

Harry Kane

World Cup Golden Boot winner and England and Spurs captain, Harry Kane is the obvious starting point for this market, as the Spurs marksman is best-priced at 7/2 with Ladbrokes and William Hill to open the scoring in this game.

Romelu Lukaku is next best in the First Goalscorer betting market at 6/1 with the likes of 888Sport and Black Type, but the Belgian’s inclusion as United’s central striker is far from certain in my opinion.

Solskjaer could be tempted to employ the same front three as the United boss chose in their 5-1 away win at Cardiff, which would mean a central role for Marcus Rashford, with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard in support of the England man. At 17/2 for Rashford with SportNation and 10Bet, he could be of much better value in this market from a United perspective.

Others to consider, include Dele Alli at 17/2 with William Hill and Ladbrokes, while Paul Pogba has found some excellent form in a United shirt with four goals and four assists since Mourinho departed Old Trafford. The Frenchman is also a likely penalty taker provided that Juan Mata is not on the field, and he appeals at 17/2 with 10Bet and SportPesa.

Other Side Bets

Goals are a virtual guarantee in this game in my view, with both teams – United in particular – having defensive frailties. Both Teams to Score in this contest is just 8/15 with the majority of firms, but we will look elsewhere for better value.

Over 2.5 Goals is just 4/6 with BetFred, and despite that being a likely winner, I’d prefer to risk an extra goal going in for the 13/8 on offer with Unibet for Over 3.5 Goals instead. United have kept just three clean sheets in the Premier League this season, with their most recent 2-0 win at Newcastle being one of those.

With the amount of attacking talent on both sides of the Wembley surface on Sunday afternoon, it looks highly likely that the supporters of both teams and the viewers on television are in for a treat.

Our Correct Score advice for this game is to take the 11/1 on offer with Ladbrokes on a 2-2 stalemate. As previously stated in this preview, it is not the result that either club would ultimately wish for, but it is an entertainment result for the viewing public.

Best Bets:

  • Over 3.5 Goals in the Match at 13/8 with Unibet
  • Full-Time Result Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to Draw at 45/17 with 10Bet
  • Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Manchester United Correct Score bet at 11/1 with Ladbrokes.
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