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Surging Spurs Face Slumping Manchester United at Old Trafford

James Murphy
by in Soccer on

Plenty of intriguing subplots as Tottenham Hotspur heads to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in English Premier League action. The most compelling of these is likely the return of Jose Mourinho to Manchester United’s home pitch nearly a year since he was fired as the team’s manager. Mourinho’s appointment has breathed new life into Tottenham Hotspur at a time when his replacement at Man U–Ole Gunnar Solskjaer–is back on the ‘hot seat’.

Manchester United is in ninth place on the English Premier League table part of a three team scrum with 18 points. They have been shockingly bad in Premiership play this year with only four victories and are just six points out of the relegation zone. Their play at home hasn’t been terrible but still pretty mediocre by Man U standards with a record of 3-3-1 scoring 13 and conceding 7. Their current form is indeed troubling as they’ve won only two of their last six in all competitions and are winless in their last three. Their play on the road in the Premier League has been awful with a 1-3-3 record scoring 8 and conceding 10.

The mood is markedly different at Tottenham Hotspur. The Spurs will be looking for their fourth straight win since Mourinho took the reins and overall are unbeaten in their last six with 4 wins and 2 draws. They are up to 5th place on the Premiership table and trail fourth place Chelsea by six points. They’ll host Chelsea in late December in another big matchup against one of Mourinho’s former teams. Tottenham is also back in the Final 16 of the Champions League so there’s a good deal of confidence surrounding the team at this point.

Manchester United had won four straight against Spurs at Old Trafford prior to a 3-0 loss last year. They did get some measure of revenge as they beat them 1-0 at Wembley Stadium in January. Mourinho’s biggest impact on his new team has been a revival in their offense while Manchester United has struggled defensively all season long. Given the disparate form of the teams the lean is definitely to the road side but the price isn’t particularly attractive. A better position is likely the total where there should be plenty of goals to go around.

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