Man Utd will be in London tomorrow for another stern opponent when they face Tottenham Hotspur in a six versus seven league table matchup.
It is widely known that Man Utd are a couple games into a run of tough games that now has their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the hot seat. One could say that the advantage lies in the hands of Spurs mentally.
Tottenham are a point above Man Utd in the table and have had a decent start to the season with ex-Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo. The pressure will lean more towards Ole and the visiting Red Devils, especially with recent Euro winner Antonio Conte circling around the job.
With the pressure off Tottenham, they can play freely, but they cannot underestimate a wounded animal, a lot of fight in all of those United players. If they do not come out fighting the speculation that Ole has lost the dressing room, similar to the Jose Mourinho situation, will be rampant.
Spurs got the season off to a flying start when they beat defending champions Manchester City to start the campaign. Nuno has managed well against City, doing the business with Wolves a few times. The Man City win has been marred by three London derby loses.
Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal, their biggest rival, destroyed Tottenham in September, one week after another. The London sides outscored Tottenham by a combined score of 9-1.
Spurs then picked a couple of victories over Villa and Newcastle, but then lost another derby to West Ham, who are in fine form. They also lost in the Europa Conference League to Vitesse, a Dutch side, that was used heavily by Chelsea in the past to loan out players.
Spurs got back to winning ways against Burnley away, a tough place to play in recent times, maybe a present day Stoke. Lucas Moura got the winner in the 68′ minute.
There was the huge Harry Kane saga that hung over the squad to begin the season, and it kind of took away the news from some of the players that Spurs signed. Most people are aware, but the signings are pretty solid and maybe deserved more praise.
In the summer they brought in Cristian Romero, Emerson and Bryan Gil. Romero started slow, but started the Villa and Newcastle wins, the West Ham loss, missed out against Vitesse and started in the EFL Cup win against Burnley.
Emerson has seemed to solidify the right-back role as he competes with Matt Doherty and Japhet Tanganga. Gil, only 20, has had some cameos and has played in cup matches, could be one for the future.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele and Steven Bergwijn were brought in during previous windows. Hojbjerg is solid and Ndombele has found his form lately after languishing under Jose Mourinho.
Spurs have only scored nine league goals, with only one from Kane. The main man on target so far this season is the reliable Son Heung-min with four goals. Son is one of the most underrated players in the world in my opinion and has the capabilities of torching any defender at any time.
Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso, Ben Davies, Sergio Reguilon, Joe Rodon and Lucas Moura, plenty of solid talent in the squad. Spurs on their day can beat anybody in the league.
Last season against Man Utd was an example of that. Man Utd were thumped by Tottenham last October 6-1. Spurs were up 2-1 when Anthony Martial was sent off, a soft sending off. United got Spurs back in April, 3-1.
Nuno will have almost a full squad with the only concern being Gil. Spurs have spent money recently and have good competition in a lot of positions. Spurs do play the 4-2-3-1, Ole’s go to formation, so it will be interesting if the managers decide to mirror each other.
Ole could be the one to switch it up, but if he does not expect a lot of one on one battles all over the field as both sides tussle to establish how they want to play. If both look to sit back and counter it could be the type of match where the ball stays in the midfield a lot.
Both sides do have options off the bench. Tottenham did not start Son against Burnley during the week so expect the South Korean to be fresh and looking to pounce. Ole is either going to go with a reliable squad because they had the week off or he will use that time to freshen tactics.
Either way the match will be tense for all United fans watching.