Spurs vs Man Utd – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 27th April 2023
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we look at Manchester United’s trip to North London. Spurs are in disarray and United have won three on the bounce. Number four? Read on with our Spurs vs Man Utd prediction.
Spurs vs Man Utd Match Preview
Incredibly, Spurs found themselves 5-0 down after 21 minutes at St James’ Park against Newcastle United last weekend, as they were utterly unable to cope with Newcastle’s direct attacking threat in possession. While they were able to stabilise the game and finish with ‘only’ a 6-1 defeat, Newcastle took their foot off the pedal, so to speak. This latest setback resulted in the dismissal of caretaker manager Cristian Stellini and the appointment of Ryan Mason in his second stint as caretaker.
Ambitions for Champions League football next season are fast becoming distant memories, and while Spurs are not out of the race just yet, even a victory here over Man Utd, their immediate qualification rivals, would cut the gap to three points but with the caveat that United have two games in hand. They face threats to Europa League qualification from both Liverpool and Brighton – teams who have been in better form than the North London outfit over the past 10 games.
Trips to Anfield and Villa Park look foreboding, and there are three London derbies to navigate against Crystal Palace, Brentford and West Ham. Spurs recently earned just two points from a trio of matches against relegation-threatened sides – Southampton (draw), Everton (draw) and Bournemouth (loss). These are clearly fixtures that sides chasing European football are expected to win, and now they have to navigate a difficult set of fixtures to close out the season.
Manchester United recorded their third successive victory with a 2-0 win over beleaguered Nottingham Forest but had to survive some early scares in order to do so. Forest were able to achieve a measure of success early on by targeting Manchester United’s high line and were perhaps unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty. Thereafter, however, they were heavily outplayed and well beaten without putting up any further resistance – the visitors recording an xG stat of 3.84.
With Europa League football gone, and their place in the FA Cup final assured, Ten Hag’s men can now concentrate solely on the league for the run-in. Five points ahead of Aston Villa with three games in hand, and six points ahead of Spurs with two in hand, Champions League qualification is looking likely, if not certain. Liverpool and Brighton are outside threats for Champions League qualification but would have to essentially be perfect for the remainder of the campaign.
United face Aston Villa and Brighton in their next two features, therefore, this three-match sequence including this game could go a very long way to determining their fate this season and subsequently, next season. Champions League qualification, in addition to putting United back in Europe’s premier competition, would also help their recruitment goals. While some top players would be keen on a move anyway, there is a subset of high-level talent that will only consider clubs playing Champions League football.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Bentancur, Bissouma, Emerson Royal, Lloris, Sessegnon
Might Not Play: Fernandes, McTominay
Will Not Play: Garnacho, Heaton, Jones, Martinez, Varane, Van de Beek
Spurs vs Man Utd Lineups (Predicted)
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Romero; Perisic, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Porro; Son, Kane, Kulusevski
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Dalot, Shaw, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Eriksen; Rashford, Sancho, Antony; Martial
Spurs vs Man Utd Analysis
Can Spurs Find the Right Balance
Spurs looked lost without a third central defender against Newcastle, as they were brutally exposed. Truth be told, they haven’t been great defensively all season even with a third central defender. Despite perceptions of a misfiring attacking unit, Spurs actually are on course to roughly equal their goal tally from last season (58 in 32 vs 69 in 38).
The issue lies in how many men Spurs are having to commit forward to carry that same goal threat of almost two goals per game. They’re giving up far too much on the flanks, and their midfield injury crisis means they’re not covering either the flanks or protecting the centre-backs adequately. Spurs will face a conundrum here – this is a Manchester United side that also has been exposed defensively at various points this season.
On the other hand, United are capable of being ruthlessly efficient in transition at their best – they resemble Newcastle, Liverpool and Brighton in that regard. Spurs have conceded 51 goals this season, and the last thing they’ll want to be doing is attempting to pin United in their own half only for United to exploit them at every opportunity. We’re thinking that although a reaction from the players will come, it won’t come in the form of a gung-ho approach.
United and Their Passivity Away From Home
Realistically, following their shocking 4-0 capitulation away at Brentford in the second match of the season, top four would have been viewed as a pipe dream. However, despite Champions League qualification looking increasingly likely, their away form has not matched their impressive home form. Join the club, one might say – United are still the fifth-best away team in the league, having played a game or two less away from home than many other clubs in the league.
Still, it holds true – Manchester United just aren’t the same side away from Old Trafford. United have scored just 19 goals in 15 away matches, with a goal difference of minus 10 (not helped by a certain 7-0 scoreline). Despite this, and counterintuitively, we need to be careful not to portray the visitors as especially poor travellers – only Man City and Arsenal have won more Premier League away matches this season.
Spurs also have a good home record, winning 11 from 16, but recent performances even before their 3-2 defeat against Bournemouth have been indicative of the malaise within the club. A 2-1 win over Brighton was rather fortunate, partially for reasons we won’t delve into but there’s no doubt that their 2-1 victory was against the run of play overall. Beating West Ham and Chelsea in February, who were both horribly out of sorts, and the league’s worst travellers Nottingham Forest were all important victories – Spurs can only play what’s in front of them – but not to be taken as serious indicators of this team’s credentials.
The betting odds reflect the balanced nature of this encounter, despite Spurs shipping 14 goals in 5 matches. This is because Manchester United struggle for consistency away from home and their bottom level is significantly lower than the team’s ceiling. The long-term ambition is clearly to eradicate that inconsistency, but for now, it’s difficult to definitively state what we’re going to see from the visitors.
Spurs carry a goal threat. They’re also an easy side to exploit in transition, and United possess a number of direct goal threats, particularly Marcus Rashford and Antony who is finding form at the tail end of the season. United are far from prolific away from home but Spurs have looked porous to say the least, especially recently, so we’ll back the visitors to secure an invaluable but narrow away win.
Spurs 1-2 Man Utd
Spurs vs Man Utd Betting Tip – Man Utd Odds:
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