Both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur will have the intention of playing like they have something to prove when the two take to the White Hart Lane turf on Sunday, November 1 for what is arguably the highlight match of the Premier League weekend.
However, according to overall consensus from HITCs sports team, only one will be able to come good… as all the momentum is with the reigning title holders while whatever good form Spurs built up has, by now, completely faded.
The majority of our writers foresee a United victory but there are a few who predict a draw and one call for a narrow 2-1 home win…
Here's what I can see. A poor first half from Spurs, a dodgy goal from United, and the White Hart Lane crowd booing the team off at half-time. After the break? Sorry Spurs fans, but that's when it may start to implode when it doesn't improve. United may go onto win by three. It shouldn't be like this. Spurs have by far a more dominant midfield - but do they have the fight or the confidence? That second part is probably going to be their undoing.
Spurs are like Amir Khan. You're guaranteed a fun, action-packed match (Tromso trips aside) but are subject to being knocked out by the elite. Like Khan was conclusively stopped by Danny Garcia last year, Tottenham were beat up by Manchester City but while Amir has been able to rebuild with carefully-selected opponents ever since, there is no respite for the Lilywhites. United are no Carlos Molina/Julio Diaz. Once again this could be an early finish, but exciting while it lasts…
Manchester United are favourites to win this game but I pick Tottenham, because Manchester United might think every game will be as easy as beating Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League and the Spurs are eager to show everyone, after the 6-0 beat down, that they are still good team. The same will be valid for Lewis Holtby, who didn’t play much the last games. He is highly motivated and will net one.
My prediction is for Spurs to show their gutsy side. United will be keen to use their midweek Champions League triumph over Leverkusen as a momentum builder, and expect them to go ahead early on in the game. They will need to find a second goal to kill Spurs off but I think Moyes will shut up shop, and Spurs - despite their recent poor form in front of goal - could well find an equaliser. I'm going for 1-1.
A 6-0 drubbing and a 5-0 cake-walk for Tottenham and Manchester United respectively would suggest there will be only one outcome on Sunday. And yet in truth, if David Moyes had his pick of matches to play directly after United’s Champions League re-awakening against Bayer Leverkusen, he would steer clear of a team still smarting from last weekend’s humiliation.
If Ryan Giggs plays as well as he did against the Germans, and if Shinji Kagawa is given another game in his natural position behind Wayne Rooney, I think the visitors will snatch it by a goal. But I can see Spurs scoring, so United will have to beat a wounded defence at least twice.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Manchester United
Tottenham will bounce back from their 6-0 thrashing last week to record a draw against Manchester United. 2 goals a piece in and end to end encounter. Kagawa will once again shine for Moyes' boys.
Manchester United to pile on more misery for Tottenham. Rooney + Kagawa to both score in an United 3-0 win.
Manchester United looked like a team possessed in midweek after the heartbreak of conceding a last minute equaliser against Cardiff last Sunday, the Red Devils won't make the same mistake again and much like the blue half of Manchester did last week I expect David Moyes side to run out convincing winners over Spurs. United to win 3-0 with Rooney finding the net at least twice.
Tottenham v Manchester United: 0-1
Perhaps the game of the weekend, as Spurs take on United at White Hart Lane. Tottenham need a result after being thrashed by United’s rivals City last week - but United come into the game buoyed by the 5-0 hammering they dealt out at Bayer Leverkusen in midweek. Spurs still struggle to score goals, and backing a Rooney winner in North London does not seem beyond the realms of possibility.
Traditionally, Spurs see a home clash with Manchester United as a way of demonstrating their top-four credentials. And traditionally, it has gone wrong. Spurs have not beaten United at the Lane since 2001, and I see no reason why that will change this weekend. David Moyes's side are gathering momentum, Tottenham have well and truly lost theirs. 1-3.
I see a narrow 2-1 victory to Spurs, Sigurdsson and Defoe netting with Rooney scoring late on for a manic final 10 minutes. I think the key thing here is who will get the first goal. If Spurs get it, and avoid conceding an immediate reply, an attacking opponent will suit their game. If United get the early goal, it may be another difficult match for the home team, as Spurs seem to really struggle against teams that sit back more. I could see them getting done on the counter if that happens.
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