Article by Scott Byrd – follow @DSMSpurs
Tottenham come up against a formidable opponent in Manchester United next Monday to wrap up match day three. The match will see Spurs hoping to continue their positive start to the season, and will see United looking to squash the negative aura that currently surrounds the club by sticking it to Pochettino’s men.
The idea behind the recent struggles of Manchester United is that they have yet to see their midfield perform in a manner in which it should, highlighted by a seemingly “off” Paul Pogba, coupled with a back-four that has yet to prove itself as anywhere near its best. Furthermore, Alexis Sanchez seems to be struggling to fit into the team, which most likely stems from their biggest heartburn, that being the style of football in which United are playing.
On the other side of this, Spurs sit patiently on the heels of a summer which saw them bring in no new players, something which has never happened in the Premier league era. While many will question the methodology behind the lack of movement, it is hard to argue that Spurs will be a team that will be humming on the back of a strong bond and a common understanding, something which United will not be able to equally claim.
Expect Spurs to line up in a back three, providing attack through the width of Trippier and Davies, against a United that will most likely sit back and defend for the majority of the match. Pochettino will most likely deploy Mousa Dembele on the bench along with Erik Lamela, both of whom made strong impacts off of the bench against Fulham in Pochettino’s efforts to make a tactical adjustment. Though it would make sense that Pochettino would begin with the back four that saw us get past Fulham, I do not believe Lamela is yet ready for a start, and with Son on international duty, a lack of attacking options will most likely lead to Alderweireld, Sanchez and Vertonghen all getting the nod.
In the midfield, expect Dier to partner with Eriksen, and Dele and Lucas behind Kane. Again, Dembele and seemingly Harry Winks will both be available should the manager not fancy Eriksen in a deeper role, and there isn’t a Spurs fan on earth who would have an issue with either of them coming on. With rumours suggesting Sissoko may be on his way to Turkey, the impact that these two, along with Wanyama, are able to have, will be paramount to the success of Spurs this season.
If Spurs can find a way to continue the trend of keeping Pogba and Sanchez quiet, and can avoid the momentary defensive lapse, I do feel strongly that they can take three points from a troubled United side. Expect Kane to build on his goal last week, and Dele and Lucas will both be expected to make a strong showing after having done so last weekend. If the aforementioned back-three can do its job efficiently, and Trippier and Davies can be effective in getting behind the defense, Tottenham should fare well.
Prediction: 3-1 Spurs