Not often does one come across a scenario where after the first game of the season you can declare a team to be fun to watch, and that too with a degree of confidence. Tottenham Hotspur this season are that team. If preseason and their opening game against Brentford are anything to go by, we are in for a cracker of a game on Saturday. A game where goals galore and mistakes are aplenty with fast counter attacks that are sure to blow your mind away.
So how do Tottenham play ? This season Spurs are high energy and all action, a team that presses high with loads of players making forward runs to overload the opposition’s final third. They try to force high turnovers and look to take advantage quickly through their advanced creative players particularly James Madison. It is very much a high risk, high reward strategy as they leave wide open spaces in-behind making them very susceptible to counter attacks. Spurs look very good when things are clicking, but as soon as they break down they can be sliced open in 3 passes. Initial adjustment period to a completely new playing style and lack of a genuine world class CDM further magnifies their deficiencies especially when things don’t go their way.
That brings us to Man Utd, on paper Tottenham’s playing style is exactly what this United side likes playing against. Wide open spaces to run in-behind is no less than a wild hot fantasy for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Garnacho. However after an average preseason and a disappointing opening day performance against Wolves there are enough questions around Man United to make the Old Trafford faithful feel slightly uneasy. Add to that the dismal away record against the top 9 sides last season and the prospect of facing Tottenham away all of a sudden starts looking daunting. The midfield was completely overwhelmed against Wolves and repeating the same mistakes against Spurs will no doubt prove costly. I would personally like to see the same team that started against Wolves with Bruno utilized in the Number 8 role next to Casemiro, where he can provide the necessary balance and also start counter attacks through his long accurate passes in the channels for our wingers to run onto. Garnacho struggled against Wolves but this might just be the game for him. Emerson Royal is a shaky defender at best and I would fancy Garnacho over Royal in a foot race every single time. United have to be wary of misplaced passes especially in and around defensive thirds as Son and Kulusevski will show no laxity in punishing United. All in all this should be a compelling game and a perfect opportunity for United to show that they are able to right a few wrongs from last season and are ready to be counted among the teams looking to challenge the City juggernaut.
On to predictions then. This match will have a lot of goals, I am going for a 3-2 United win with Rashford and Garnacho among the scorers and Mount getting his first goal contribution for United. Fully expect Bruno to light up the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium as well. Tell us your predictions in the comments along with who you think will be the key players for United in this match. Saturday can’t come soon enough.
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