The battle for Europe takes centre stage on Friday night as Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham host the Portuguese managers former side Manchester United in a game which could make or break both clubs Champions League ambitions for next season.
At present, it’s the Red Devils who look the more likely of the two to feature in Europe’s premier competition next term with United just three points behind Chelsea ahead of the resumption in play while last seasons beaten Champions League finalists Tottenham have endured a difficult campaign and currently find themselves seven points adrift from their London rivals.
Spurs stuttering form, even after the arrival of three time Premier League winner Mourinho, was amplified before the break due to a raft of injuries to key players such as Harry Kane & Son while Christian Eriksen finally department the Lane after a prolonged transfer saga while the likes of Dele Alli have struggled for confidence and form during an up and down campaign.
Alli will miss the first game back due to an ill-judged social media post during the lockdown period but in more positive news for Spurs fans reports appear to be good in relation to the fitness and performance of Kane & Son since returning to training in what could be a silver lining in the halting of Spurs season back in March.
While it’s difficult to gauge how relevant post break form will be when football returns behind closed doors in England, Manchester United picked up three wins in their last five Premier League matches while Spurs suffered damaging defeats versus Chelsea and Wolves, both rivals in terms of the race for Europe. A drab 1-1 draw away to Burnley before the break really highlighted Spurs lack of creativity in front of goal without their well renowned stars.
In terms of recent meetings between the sides Manchester United hold the upper hand having won the last two meetings while Spurs did the double over United in the 2017/18 campaign. Overall, this is a fixture United have dominated with 35 wins from 55 Premier League meetings with the North Londoners.
All eyes will be on England captain Kane but his record against Untied isn’t fantastic with just two goals in 11 meetings in all competitions while the man in the headlines for all the right reasons this week Marcus Rashford has netted three times in just four appearances versus Spurs.
With only three games taking place before this evening kick-off on Friday we won’t have a great idea if the Bundesliga away form trend carries over to English football but on the subject of away form United’s hasn’t been overly strong with just four wins in 14 on the road while Spurs home record is currently the 5th best in the division.
In truth, this game is something of a guessing game given the circumstances that surround it but with Tottenham once again able to call on the players who played such a key role in last seasons march to Madrid you would hope (for Jose’s sake) that there will be a bounce inside the dressing room and with it an upturn in performances and results on the pitch.
Don’t forget this game is a DOUBLE THE ODDS FIRST GOAL SCORER MATCH meaning if you back the likes of Kane, Son or Rashford (or any player for that matter) to score first and they achieve that feat before grabbing a second goal in the game anytime then you will receive double bubble on your first goal scorer bet (T&C’s apply).
* Always gamble responsibly.