Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United Betting Tips & Predictions – Sunday 13th January 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won his first five matches in charge of Manchester United but this Sunday he faces his toughest test yet. The Norwegian manager and his confident Red Devils team travel to Wembley to take on Tottenham, seeking a win that would do wonders for their top four credentials and the interim bosses’ hopes of a longer deal.

Looking to put an end to Solskjaer’s honeymoon period is a Tottenham side still just about hanging on in the title race. The London club sit six points from top spot and will need a near perfect end to the season in order to keep themselves in contention. This is a test for them too, especially after a tough game with Chelsea in midweek but we fancy they can just about get the job done.

Top Tips

Tottenham to Win @ 21/20

Both Teams to Score @ 8/15

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Tottenham Hotspur News: New stadium suffers another setback

Tottenham Playing Home Match Against Manchester United
sachab, flickr

It’s easy to forget that it was initially hoped the new White Hart Lane would be opened at, or around, the start of the season. Unforeseen issues delayed its completion resulting in this match being the one planned for the ribbon cutting. It became clear some time ago that wouldn’t happen and a recent announcement has confirmed that Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be playing their football at Wembley until at least March. Chairman Daniel Levy sent his apology to the fans but their frustration has been showing of late with attendances at their temporary home on the decline.

Spurs prepare to bid farewell to Dembele

When Mousa Dembele went off injured after just seven minutes in November’s clash with Watford, little did Spurs fans know that it would be his last appearance for the club. The Belgian is now close to full fitness but this has paved the way for him to secure a transfer to Chinese outfit Beijing Gouan. Highly regarded by Spurs fans and teammates alike, the midfielder and his dazzling dribbling ability will be sorely missed. The departure, coupled with Victor Wanyama’s struggle to stay fit, leaves Tottenham a little short in the centre of midfield. It seems unlikely they will replace Dembele in this window and fans also feel the fee for the midfielder is too low, further adding to their dissatisfaction.

Manchester United News: Solskjaer lacking centre-back options

Sir Alex Ferguson Stand Seating at Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium
apasciuto, flickr

Solskjaer won’t be left with much choice when it comes to deciding who plays in the heart of the United defence this weekend. Marcos Rojo has gone back to Argentina following an injury setback while Chris Smalling is facing a real race against time to shake off his foot problem. Eric Bailly has no injury problems but the straight red cad shown to him against Bournemouth means he’s out suspended. This leaves United with only Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof as fully fit and available options. Against a Spurs attack that has been rampant at times recently, this could be a major problem for the visitors and David De Gea may be in for a busy afternoon.

First test will be revealing

United’s board timed the sacking of Jose Mourinho in such a way that the new boss would have a good chance of building some momentum. With the Liverpool trip out of the way, United had a winnable run of games and Solskjaer and his men have really delivered. They would have expected to beat Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Reading (FA Cup). Whether they would have under Mourinho we’ll never know but we most certainly do know that there is a huge step up in class now.

Two weeks after this game, United will visit Arsenal in the FA Cup. If they play poorly in both games and suffer two defeats United fans will be brought back down to earth and the clamour for Solskjaer to be appointed full time will die down. However, should United get two draws or better, many will seriously think they can challenge for a top four finish and some silverware this term.

Analysis: Solskjaer’s first stern test

All that said, it would be unfair to downplay Solskjaer’s impact at United despite the fact the Norwegian joined the club at the start of a kind run of fixtures. He’s yet to face top half opposition and took on an underperforming Championship side in the FA Cup but winning matches consistently, even as the favourites, does count for something. Moreover, United have been playing much more exciting football, scoring more frequently and getting the best out of their key players. None the less, this game will certainly give us a better indication as to the level the Red Devils are currently at.

United’s weaknesses to be exposed

A fairly easy run of fixtures plus a new manager has rather distracted people from the issues United faced earlier in the season. They’ve been praised for their emphatic wins over Bournemouth and Cardiff but these are both teams that were also hammered by Spurs recently.

Three of their last four league wins under Solskjaer have come against teams who’ve not even averaged a goal per game this season. This has masked United’s defensive issues. Against a far more deadly Spurs side, one that has scored 23 goals in their last six matches alone, the United rearguard could well reveal its limitations. This should pave the way for a home win, an option that is exceptionally well priced at odds of 21/20.

Thrilling match in store at Wembley

While you are right to call into question the state of the United defence, you can hardly fault their forward line. Marcus Rashford is one man who has shone in recent weeks and Pogba is most certainly another. Even a rejuvenated Romelu Lukaku is back among the goals, scoring three times in as many appearances under Solskjaer. The new manager on the scene has allowed the Red Devils to play with far more attacking freedom than they enjoyed under Mourinho. This should help produce an attacking, exciting game of football at Wembley, one that sees both teams find the back of the net (8/15).

Red Devils must brace for a Hurri-Kane

On Tuesday night, Harry Kane netted his 160th goal for Tottenham, pushing him up to fourth in the club’s all-time goalscorers list. 20 of the goals have come this season and many more look set to follow. The English skipper is in full flow at the moment having scored in each of his last six Spurs appearances. In such hot form, you definitely want to consider backing him as an anytime goalscorer (8/11). His record against Manchester United (two goals from nine showings) admittedly isn’t the best but rarely has he faced a Red Devils backline so depleted.

Recent Matches

For a long period of time, United dominated clashes with Spurs, so much so that it sparked the creation of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous quote, “lads, it’s Tottenham.” Spurs have been able to turn the tide in recent seasons though, winning four of their last seven bouts with the Red Devils.

27th August 2018: Manchester Utd 0 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur

Despite the full-time scoreline, Spurs reached half-time in this game lucky to be level. The visitors were short on ideas and saw Lukaku miss an open goal after rounding Hugo Lloris. Pochettino’s men returned from the break a completely different side however and two quick fire goals put them in command. United had never lost a Premier League home game 2-0 before and Lucas Moura ensured the incredible stat continued when skinning Chris Smalling and hammering home his second.

21st April 2018: Manchester Utd 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s wait for another piece of silverware continued as for the eighth time they were defeated in an FA Cup semi-final. Things began so well for the Londoners too as Dele Alli handed them the lead 11 minutes in. Able to prevent further punishment, Mourinho’s men grew into the game and levelled through Alexis Sanchez. Ander Herrera completed the turnaround in the second half to book his side’s place in a record equalling 20th FA Cup final.

31st January 2018: Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Manchester Utd

Many fans weren’t even in their seats when Christian Eriksen drew first blood in this match. The Dane needed just 11 seconds to fire past David De Gea, making it the third joint fastest goal in the history of the Premier League. United failed to recover from their shaky side in what turned out to be an incredibly one-sided contest. Spurs scored another when Phil Jones diverted into his own net and only some poor finishing prevented them extending their lead further.

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