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Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview 12/03/2022

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Manchester United will be desperate to salvage their Champions League qualification chances when they welcome fellow top-four contenders Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Spurs sit seventh on the table with 45 points while the Red Devils have 47 points on board, but they have played two games more than their weekend opponents. Following a 4-1 thrashing at Etihad in their previous outing, Manchester United can’t afford to drop any more points to keep their fading Champions League ambitions alive.

Manchester United

After taking the reins from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December, Ralf Rangnick has lost only twice in the Premier League. On the flip side, he has drawn five matches already in the league, meaning he has dropped points in half of the 14 games he managed in the Premier League. Rangnick, who will take on a consultancy role at United later, is only holding the fort till a new manager comes in next season.

The German has brought about some positive structural changes to the team, but the results have not been impressive so far. Last week’s Manchester Derby was the first time Rangnick’s United faced a ‘’Big 6’’ side, and they got thoroughly outplayed. Rumors claim that players are becoming discontent with Rangnick’s tactics and training regimen. Overall, Manchester United find themselves in a tough spot at the moment.

In the next few weeks, a challenging run of fixtures lies ahead for the Mancunians. After encountering Tottenham, Man United will take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. United were scheduled to travel to Merseyside to face arch-rivals Liverpool the following weekend. But, the Reds’ FA Cup commitments mean the match will have to be played later, giving the record Premier League champions some much-needed breathing space.

Much was said about Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from the Man City game. Some outlets claimed that Ronaldo didn’t travel with the squad after Rangnick told him he would be dropped from the XI for tactical reasons. However, Manchester United have confirmed that the 37-year-old is nursing a hip injury and has only taken part in some light training drills lately. Ronaldo is likely to sit out the Spurs game as well.

United might not be able to call upon their other veteran goalscorer Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan has suffered a groin problem and seems unlikely to be involved on Sunday. Raphael Varane is ready to return to the United backline, which is a massive boost for the hosts. Luke Shaw, however, remains a doubt as he is still sick.

Marcus Rashford might get a chance to re-establish himself in the United starting XI with Ronaldo and Cavani possibly ruled out. Bruno Fernandes was a surprise striker in the Man City game, but he didn’t seem much comfortable at the position. So, we expect Rangnick to move the Portugal international back to his preferred midfield position.

Tottenham Hotspur

It has been some sort of topsy-turvy ride for Antonio Conte at Spurs so far. There has been highs of beating Manchester City at Etihad, there have been lows of crashing out of the FA Cup 5th Round at the hands of Championship side Middlesbrough. Spurs have lost four of their last seven Premier League matches, but in recent weeks, they have shown signs of resurgence.

Spurs followed up their 4-0 dismantling of Leeds with a midweek 5-0 thrashing of Everton. Harry Kane, who toppled Thierry Henry to become the 6th highest Premier League goalscorer of all time, scored a brace and took his goal tally to 10 goals in the league, 5 of which came in the last four matches.

Harry Kane returning to form could help Spurs overcome their Jekyll and Hyde nature and hit some consistency. The Lilywhites would fancy their chances against a struggling Man United side and hope to pick up a third Premier League win in a row.

Sergio Reguilon, who scored in less than sixty seconds after coming on as a substitute, could make it to the starting XI at Old Trafford as Ryan Sessegnon sustained a muscle injury during the Everton game. Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp have been sidelined with long-term injuries. Matt Doherty will expect to keep his place ahead of Emerson Royal.

Our Prediction

Despite their recent struggles, Man United have been resilient at home, having let in only one goal in the last four matches at Old Trafford. With Varane’s return, Man United could be a tough nut to crack even for a Spurs attack with world-class talents like Heung Min Son and Kane. A draw seems the most probable outcome.

Betting Tip

Draw @ 3.75.

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