Tottenham have considerably better team news than earlier in the week, being close to full strength this as Lloris and Eriksen return, leaving just Aurier, Alderweireld and Winks on the sidelines, but both can be replaced easily. Trippier should start in place of Aurier, while Sissoko and Vorm drop out for Eriksen and Lloris respectively, a big positive at either end of the pitch. They’ve been in good home form of late, but come from a poor result in the FA Cup, so they’ll feel they have something of a point to prove on their return to league action this time round. They have a poor record against top-six rivals, so overcoming a -0.25 handicap won’t be easy, however, anything less than a win doesn’t satisfy considering their need to stay in the race for the top four. Against a defensively strong Man Utd, the 2.5 total goals line is fair, and while Tottenham are naturally an attacking team, they’ll take a more balanced approach for this game, knowing they can’t afford to lose. They’ll have little choice but to open up and attack if they go behind, which could see the line challenged, but they’ll be sensible while level, wanting to grow into the game.
Man Utd are essentially at full strength to face Tottenham as just three are out, long-term absentee Bailly being the most notable, but even he isn’t being missed too much at present. Sanchez is expected to start for his league debut, while almost all other regulars were rested in the recent FA Cup win at Yeovil, so Mourinho can name his best available line-up without any fears about fatigue. They’ll be confident of taking points off Tottenham and have plenty of momentum behind them, and while a draw would do to beat the +0.25 handicap, they’ll be aiming for all three points from a fairly balanced mentality. They’ll be pragmatic and know they can frustrate Tottenham, especially if they get in front, backing themselves to close out a narrow win. From behind, a point would just satisfy. Mourinho will be happy to set up his team to be tough to beat, with the 2.5 goals line likely needing them to go behind for it to be truly challenged. They’d be more than happy to sit on a single goal lead, backing their defensive resolve and game management. Focus will be not losing the game, so unless they have to chase, major risks won’t be taken in their attacking stance.
Verdict & Prediction
Manchester United sit in second place, and won’t want to drop points to a rival. They’re in a very good run of form and will be full of confidence, believing they can travel to Wembley and take all three points. Ordinarily, a draw at Tottenham wouldn’t be a disaster, but with Chelsea and Liverpool chasing hard there’s no room for error at the moment, which adds pressure.
Prediction: Manchester United +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.21 Pinnacle
Asian Handicap(+0.00): Same as Draw no bet option, you stake is returned if the match ends with a draw.
Another preview for tonight: Everton v Leicester – Premier League