After Manchester City’s humbling of Arsenal on Wednesday, Manchester and North London are set to resume hostilities tonight, as record-champions Manchester United travel to the capital to take on Tottenham Hotspur.
It’s all set to be a spicy affair at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as ex-United manager Jose Mourinho will take on his former side for the second time since taking over the reins at Spurs back in November after they parted ways with manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Head-to-head: Manchester United 92 vs. Tottenham Hotspur 48
“Lads. It’s Tottenham.”
Former United captain Roy Keane reminisced in his autobiography about the time when Six Alex Ferguson’s pre-match talk before their match against Spurs was just the aforementioned three words, indicating how lowly the great manager thought of Spurs.
However, that hasn’t been the case in recent years. Since Ferguson's last season in charge, Spurs have beaten United six times, thrice at the Theatre of Dreams, while the Red Devils have beaten the North Londoners seven times in that span, of which one victory came in the FA Cup semifinal in 2018.
The reverse fixture at Old Trafford ended 2-1 in the home side's favour, with Marcus Rashford scoring a goal on either side of Dele Alli's superb strike.
Manchester United latest news and injury updates
After a campaign marred by injuries to key players, United manager Solskjaer, with the exception of defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones, will have his full squad available for selection against Spurs on Thursday.
The lockdown certainly worked wonders for United, as the lengthy layoff allowed superstars Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba to recover from their respective injuries that, without the lockdown, would have seen them miss almost all of what remained of the season.
United fans will be particularly excited about the potential link-up between Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, who enjoyed a stellar start to his Manchester United career after signing for the club from Sporting CP in January.
The Portuguese international was heavily rumoured to move to the Theatre of Dreams this past summer, however United were reluctant to pull the trigger till the slew of injuries forced their hand to finally sanction the deal in January.
Old Trafford has long yearned for a world-class partner for their divisive French superstar in midfield, and the industrious Fernandes might just be what the club and Pogba needed to unlock their true potential.
Tottenham Hotspur latest news and injury updates
While United have been heavily rumoured to rope in players like Jadon Sancho, Donny van De Beek and Jack Grealish, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho has been busy fending off questions about club captain Harry Kane's future.
The 26-year-old has been constantly linked to a move away from North London, however, Kane has always pledged his loyalty to Spurs. The lack of success, though, could make Kane question his future at the club and with Europe’s finest clubs lurking at the opportunity to pry the superstar away, the question beckons that how long can Spurs hold on to their talisman.
On the injury front, they will be without Japhet Tanganga and Dele Alli for United's trip to the capital. The young centre-back has been ruled out due to a back injury while Alli was handed a one-match ban by the FA for improper conduct on social media.
Summer signings Tanguy N'Dombele and Giovani Lo Celso are fit for the match against United and will likely start in midfield alongside Harry Winks in the absence of Alli.
What time and where to watch?
Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester United will kick-off at 12:45 am IST on Friday and will be broadcast live on Star Sports Select 1 HD and Star Sports Select 1 and live-streaming will be available on Disney + Hotstar.
Premier League fixtures
June 19, 2020: Norwich City vs Southampton (22:30 IST)
June 20, 2020: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United (00:45 IST)
June 20, 2020: Watford vs Leicester City (17:00 IST)
June 20, 2020: Brighton vs Arsenal (19:30 IST)
June 20, 2020: West Ham United vs Wolverhampton (22:00 IST)
June 21, 2020: Newcastle United vs Sheffield United (18:30 IST)
June 21, 2020: Aston Villa vs Chelsea (20:45 IST)
June 21, 2020: Everton vs Liverpool (23:30)
Latest Premier League results
June 17, 2020: Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United
June 17, 2020: Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Oli Scarff