Manchester United v Tottenham: Premier League match preview
By Alex Stevens
Football Insider looks ahead to the mouthwatering showdown at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Tottenham, which kicks off the new Premier League season.
KICK-OFF TIME: Saturday, 12.45pm
TV: Live on BT Sport, highlights on BBC1
IT’S A BIG GAME FOR…
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Has Louis van Gaal bought a serial-winning old head with the perfect blend of calibre and composure, or an injury-prone Galactico with his best days behind him? If the words of Pep Guardiola are anything to go by, then maybe the latter but United’s headline summer signing will not be short of motivation as he sets out to prove his former manager wrong. Schweinsteiger is battling with Michael Carrick to be paired with fellow new boy Morgan Schneiderlin in what will be a fresh central midfield axis after United finally addressed one of the team’s problem positions for many seasons.
PLAYER TO WATCH…
Harry Kane. Spurs managed to fight off strong interest from United this summer to hold on to their talisman and will reward him with a contract that makes him the best paid player in the club’s history. Harry Hotspur will be a marked man following his stunning 2014-15 campaign and all eyes will be on whether he can maintain that form or suffer the second-season dip that the Americans call ‘Sophomore syndrome’. He proved to be a man for the big occasion last season, and is key to Spurs’ hopes of a repeat of their famous victory at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day in 2014.
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Premier League: Manchester United 3 (Fellaini, Carrick, Rooney) Tottenham 0, 15 March 2015
Premier League: Tottenham 0 Manchester United 0, 28 December 2014
Premier League: Manchester United 1(Welbeck) Tottenham 2 (Adebayor, Eriksen), 1 January 2014
Spurred by a vintage performance from David Beckham and the half-time Fergie ‘hairdryer’, United came from three goals down at half-time to win 5-3 in a thriller at White Hart Lane.
Manchester United in pre-season: WWWL
Tottenham in pre-season: WWLLW
Draw at half-time and Manchester to win at full-time 10/3 (Bet365)
HOW WILL THEY LINE UP…
Manchester United (possible): Romero; Darmian, Jones, Blind, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Carrick; Mata, Depay, Young; Rooney.
Tottenham (possible): Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Wimmer; Eriksen, Dembele, Chadli; Kane.
EXPERT VERDICT… United win