OPPONENTS Manchester United 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 28th October 2017
VENUE Old Trafford
Manchester United  SQUAD 1.  David de GEA
2.  Victor LINDELOF
3.  Eric BAILLY
4.  Phil JONES
5.  Marcos ROJO
6.  Paul POGBA
8.  Juan MATA
9.  Romelu LUKAKU
11.  Anthony MARTIAL
12.  Chris SMALLING
14.  Jesse LINGARD
16.  Michael CARRICK
17.  Daley BLIND
18.  Ashley YOUNG
19.  Marcus RASHFORD
20.  Sergio ROMERO
21.  Ander HERRERA
22.  Henrikh MKHITARYAN
23.  Luke SHAW
25.  Antonio VALENCIA 
27.  Marouane FELLAINI
31.  Nemanja MATIC
36.  Matteo DARMIAN
38.  Axel TUANZEBE
39.  Scott McTOMINAY
40. Joel Castro PEREIRA


PREVIEW The two teams had very differing fortunes last weekend.  United lost 1-2 away at Huddersfield and Spurs pout Liverpool to the sword - winning 4-1 at Wembley.   Having contrasting results in midweek too, the two sides that step out at Old Trafford are likely to be changed from both of those games.  With injuries and players on rotation, the elevens will be changed with the managers at sixes and sevens to put out their 4-4-2s and 3-5-2s.

Mourinho has been criticised for parking the bus - something he cries about when other teams employ the same tactics as him - at Liverpool and he might be tempted to do so again, although the pressure is on him to attack with the game being at the Theatre of Dreams.  There are sufficient players in the Manchester United side to play an attacking game, but Mourinho's avowed intent to win things with the club mean that he will deploy whatever tactics he thinks will bring them the big prizes.  Whether his defence is up to that or not, only time will tell, but without Harry Kane, they may not be fully tested on Saturday.  However, Tottenham got through the spell when he was injured last season, although the drawn games in that period might have made the run-in a bit tighter if some had been three-point hauls instead.

There is a threat up front for United, with Romelu Lukaku running Harry close in the last two seasons for the Golden Boot, but there are some games when he does not engage and becomes a bit of a passenger, but on his day (and especially against smaller teams) he can run riot.  Hopefully, compatriots Toby and Jan will know how to keep him subdued and Davinson can stand up to his strength.

Injuries have robbed the Red Devils of some of their first team, but the money they spent in the summer should have made these absences irrelevant.  Tottenham have an issue up front, but having brought in Llorente, he can play there and might do better if Spurs play the ball to him how he likes it.  Son can play as a striker too and he is in good form, so might prove a handful for the home defence, although he will need quick support from midfield to help him out.

United won the corresponding fixture last season with a goal from Mkhitaryan, who ahs not been a regular fixture in the side, with Matic coming in during the transfer window from Chelsea and Juan Mata enjoying a renaissance under the Portuguese manager.  Herrera may have fallen out with Mourinho too, so, with Carrick and Pogba injured, the options are little more limited in midfield.  With Ibrahimovic out and Rashford facing a late test on his hamstring, the attacking options to back up Lukaku might be thin.  Lingard and Martial will stand by, but they will miss the height and strength in midfield of Fellaini and Pogba.  There are still the likes of Valencia and Blind to play there if required.

Goalkeeper David de Gea is in the top bracket of goalkeepers across Europe and it is only the suspect nature of some of those directly in front of him that lets him down.  While Jones and Smalling have been England picks, they are not quite to the standard you might wish in the middle of defence, while Darmian and Bailly both have weaknesses and can be found out if played right.  Lindelof has had a dodgy induction into the Premier League, so pressure on him might pay off, with Luke Shaw not even considered for any game of importance, so low does the manager rate him

For Pochettino, it is a question of Plan B, now there will be no Harry Kane in the Harry Kane team.  Llorente hasn't quite been used to his strengths and trying to play him in a Kane role will not work, as Harry is so mobile.  He needs someone to play off and an away game at Old Trafford might not be the place to pay two up front.  It worked at the Bernabeu though.  It will also be a dangerous game to just rely on hitting UNite don the break.  We have enough players to take the game to them and the way we play away suits our style, with teams not sitting back with numbers behind the ball.

I take Spurs to bring something back south with them in the way of points, but it won't be an open, exciting encounter, that's for sure.

PREDICTION Manchester United    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Manchester United
Manchester United TEAM NEWS :
Marouane Fellaini (knee), Paul Pogba (hamstring), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), Michael Carrick (calf) and  Marcos Rojo (knee),  while Marcus Rashford (hamstring), Eric Bailly (groin) and Ander Herrera (ankle) are set for late fitness tests. 
Harry Kane will not be available for this game, due to a slight hamstring injury, while Victor Wanyama's knee injury keep him out nof contention. Erik Lamela is training with the first team again, but may not be risked. 

Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:30 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 15.00 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
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South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Manchester United  1 (0)  

Premier League
Saturday 28th October 2017
Old Trafford
Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)

Kick off 12:30
Martial  80m 49s None
Valencia (simulation)  73 




Crowd :   75,034 Weather :  Rainy
Referee :  Jon Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. A. Halliday
Fourth Official :  Stuart Atwell  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Stretford End in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 4 minutes.
Manchester United : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  David de GEA

  3  Eric BAILLY
  4  Phil JONES
12  Chris SMALLING

25  Antonio VALENCIA     
21  Ander HERRERA
31  Nemanja MATIC
18  Ashley YOUNG  (36  Matteo DARMIAN  90+3)

22  Henrik MKHITARYAN  (14  Jesse LINGARD  65)

19  Marcus RASHFORD  (11  Anthony MARTIAL  70  )
  9  Romelu LUKAKU

Unused subs: 
20  Sergio ROMERO
17  Daley BLIND
  8  Juan MATA

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

15  Eric DIER

24  Serge AURIER
7  Moussa SISSOKO  (19  Mousa DEMBELE  62)
29  Harry WINKS
Christian ERIKSEN
33  Ben DAVIES

20  DELE Alli

  7  Heung-Min SON  (18  Fernando LLORENTE  62)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
  3  Danny ROSE
  Georges-Kevin N'KOUDOU

Manager :  Jose Mourinho Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Chevrolet Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

Tottenham lost at Old Trafford by the only goal of the game for the third season running, but they played well, without their man striker Harry Kane, but failed to .

Lukaku got up the left in the second minute and crossed low for Rashford, but Lloris cut it out before it reached and the United man had tripped Davies before he got there and then Young made a good run inside the box wide on the left, but his cross was pulled back behind everyone. When Lloris kicked out and the ball came straight back in the tenth minute, Lukaku put the ball in to Rashford on the edge of the box, Dier made a very well timed tackle, but the ball ran loose and came back to Lukaku, but his shot went way off target at ninety degrees to the goal !

Tottenham's first effort on goal was a dribbler of a shot from Aurier 25 yards out, but when United went forward, Sissoko brought down Mkhitaryan, who got to the ball first and Rashford tried a shot form 30 yards out that Lloris dived right to push wide.  For the first fifteen minutes, Spurs had been chasing the game and had not been able to string passes together, but they started to hold the ball a bit more and move it further upfield. Neither side was making
their passes tell and play kept changing hands making the play a little staccato. There was an effort from Sissoko, when Davies found him in acres of space but his low drive was weak, which couldn't be said of Toby's shot from the right, but his 20 yard right footer hit the side netting. Working the ball down the
right, Moussa didn't do as well as he should have done with his cross.

Spurs were starting to press and almost capitalised when Matic headed back to de Gea, which didn't get there and Son and Dele closed down, but a defender hacked it away. They came even closer after a good passing movement ended with Davies crossing into the box, with de Gea comfortably underneath it.  However, he bumped into Jones and dropped the ball. Dele seized on it, but with his back to goal, laid it back to Sissoko, but he skied his shot.

Ashley Young let people know he was on the pitch by trying to start a confrontation after being challenged in the air by Aurier and then facing up to Sissoko and then Dele. He was trying to wind them up, but failed, as he does with much of his efforts. Spurs were finding Aurier on the right and Jan and
Ben on the left getting into some good positions. But it was a breakdown in a United attack that saw Dele put away on the left, but as he came inside the box, he tried to slide a soft pass through the box to Son at the far post, but it didn't have enough pace on it.

Dele Alli was coming in for some treatment, getting clattered late by Valencia and then dragged down by Bailly, but the referee was not punishing the fouls by the United players. Spurs kept passing the ball and Aurier got in behind Young and had his shot deflected over. From the corner, Dier's header was blocked and popped up for him again, but he sliced his volley softly up into the keeper's arms.

The teams trooped off in the rain at half-time with nobody troubling the scorers. United came out a bit more positive in the second half, with Young putting a low ball in to the near post but Lloris grabbed it. Hugo didn't grab Mkhitaryan's shot eight minutes into the half, spilling it right in front of goal, but Ben Davies saved the situation with a last ditch clearance. A minute later, Mkhitaryan got free on the left and his low ball into the near post was somehow deflected away off the inside of Hugo's right thigh.

Spurs needed to gain some possession to calm the game down, but the ball kept coming back towards their goal, helped by the officials giving United a corner when the ball hadn't totally crossed the line. A double change by Pochettino saw Llorente replace Son and Mousa come on in place of Moussa. And it was Dembele, who closed down Valencia as he ran onto a cleared corner that put him off as his shot just cleared the bar from the edge of the box.

Valencia got a yellow card for trying to win a penalty badly by throwing himself to the ground when nochallenge came in. Spurs had a good passage of passing that took them to the edge of the United box, but had to run back and engineered a shooting chance for Eriksen, but it rose over the bar. Christian  did better in the 77th minute, when Tottenham worked the ball out of the back and Eriksen drifted a ball past the last United man for Dele to run onto it, but he couldn't get the right contact on it to nudge it past de Gea into the net, only putting it a foot wide. United got closer in the 79th minute, when Lingard's looping cross saw Lukaku jump above a grounded Alderweireld and crash a header against the foot of Lloris' left hand post. Matic then tried a long range effort, but it showed how fortunate his strike in last season's semi-final was, because this time it ended up high in the crowd.

Spurs looked to get in behind United, but Aurier was offside and then from that the home side got Martial away on the left, latching onto Lukaku's header and the striker got behind Dier and scuffed a shot past Lloris to give United the lead. It was route one and Spurs were too easily undone.

Trying to get back into the game, Eriksen had a shot blocked and Dele looked to have Bailly's arm around his neck as he went to head Aurier's cross. Young screamed like a small child when tackled by Dele trying to get a card for the Spurs midfielder, as this seemed to be his prime purpose in the game. Tottenham's cause wasn't helped by Hugo kicking the ball straight into touch, something he had done for a lot of the game. We really need him to hoof it as far downfield as possible if he can't find a Spurs player with his passes.

A late free kick was hoisted into the box and cleared, with Lingard running from inside his own half through with only Lloris to beat, but Eriksen's chasing back put him off and the United forward shot way over the top. Three minutes of added time saw a free-kick given against Llorente for a shove, with Bailly failing to be punished for a blatant block on Dembele to the edge of the box.

The game was not a classic and Spurs were made to pay for one moment of lost concentration, but United maintained their 100% home record and five games without a goal conceded. Without Kane, the side acquitted themselves well, managing to keep United to a few chances and then had a handful of chances themselves, but a draw would probably have been the right result on the balance of play.

There was a nervy first quarter of an hour, but after that Tottenham started to control the game with some good passing and possession football.  The failure to create a lot of chances was partially down to a lack of a killer final pass and partly down to United getting a lot of players back behind the ball as soon as they lost it.  Mourinho's tactics didn't exactly shine the genius light on him, but he won't care as they were three points better off at the end.

Matt Segal




Manchester United were at the forefront of the merchandising revolution in football, selling branded flat caps and ration book holders way back in the 1910s.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 2 Swansea City 1 Saturday
Bournemouth 0 Chelsea 1 Saturday
Crystal Palace 2 West Ham United London 2 Saturday
Liverpool 3 Huddersfield Town 1 Saturday
Watford 0 Stoke City 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 2 Manchester City 3 Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Southampton 1 Sunday
Leicester City 2 Everton 0 Sunday
Burnley 1 Newcastle United 0 Monday


League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester City 10 9 1 0 35 6 28 +29
2 Manchester United 10 7 2 1 23 4 23 +19
3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 10 6 2 2 19 7 20 +12
4 Chelsea 10 6 1 3 18 10 19 +8
5 Arsenal 10 6 1 3 19 13 19 +6
6 Liverpool 10 4 4 2 17 16 16 +1
7 Burnley 10 4 4 2 9 9 16 0
8 Watford 10 4 3 3 15 18 15 -3
9 Newcastle United 10 4 2 4 10 9 14 +1
10 Southampton 10 3 4 3 9 10 13 -1
11 Leicester City 10 3 3 4 14 13 12 +1
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 10 3 3 4 10 11 12 -1
13 Huddersfield Town 10 3 3 4 7 13 12 -6
14 Stoke City 10 3 2 5 11 20 11 -9
15 West Bromwich Albion 10 2 4 4 9 13 10 -4
16 West Ham United London 10 2 3 5 10 19 9 -9
17 Swansea City 10 2 2 6 7 12 8 -5
18 Everton 10 2 2 7 7 20 8 -13
19 Bournemouth 10 2 1 7 6 14 7 -8
20 Crystal Palace 10 1 1 8 4 21 4 -17

Position before match :  3rd
Position after match :  3rd
Position after the weekend :  3rd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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