Manchester United-Tottenham Hotspur Preview

National Sports

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Manchester United will produce a reaction to last week’s awful defeat to Liverpool when they face Tottenham.

United suffered a humiliating 5-0 home reverse at the hands of rivals Liverpool, piling pressure on manager Solskjaer. But he remains in charge for another testing fixture on Saturday as United visit Spurs.

It has been a “difficult week”, Solskjaer says, but there has already been a response on the training pitch.

“We definitely need a reaction and it’s my job as well to put the players in the right frame of mind,” he said. “I’m responsible for the reaction, the result, the performance.”We’ve worked on the pitch, worked on everything that needs to be sorted for a footballer. It’s not just frame of mind, it’s the approach strategy, gameplan, tactics, technically. We’ve had a good week and I feel the boys are ready to give their best as they always do.

“The performance, nothing went to plan and that was nowhere near our best. I’ve been through some very bad moments as a player here and when I’ve been a manager. I’ve dealt with setbacks, there have been two or three crises at least since I became manager here, and one thing I can say is I’ll always give it a good shot and fight back.”

Solskjaer’s opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo is expecting a tough match against United.

“That (defeat against Liverpool) shows that the competition is very tough,” he said. “All the teams are very good. Man United is a fantastic team and we know exactly that we’re going to face a very good team of football.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tottenham – Tanguy Ndombele

Tottenham need a level of consistency from Ndombele. After excelling against Newcastle United, he struggled to have an impact in the defeat to West Ham. Spurs supporters will hope this week’s performance is more like that seen at St James’ Park.

Manchester United – Harry Maguire

He was far from alone in that sense, but Maguire endured an awful outing against Liverpool. As well as some sloppy individual work, the entire back line around him looked disorganised. In his role as captain, Maguire will have to lead a more coherent defensive display.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Tottenham have lost more Premier League games against Manchester United than they have versus any other side in the competition (36).

– After a six-game winless run away to Tottenham in the Premier League (D3 L3), Manchester United have won two of their past three visits to Spurs in the competition (D1).

– Just one of the past six Premier League matches between Tottenham and Manchester United have been won by the home side, with Manchester United winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in December 2019.

– Manchester United have lost three of their past four Premier League matches (D1), as many as in their previous 37 league games (W23 D11). The Red Devils have not lost three Premier League games in a row since December 2015 under Louis van Gaal.

– Manchester United’s record 29-game away unbeaten run in the Premier League ended in their previous match on the road against Leicester City. They last lost consecutive away games in the competition in the two matches that preceded their unbeaten run – against Arsenal and Liverpool in January 2020.

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