Scouting Manchester United Opposition: Tottenham Testing Their Talent

Manchester United are ready to start thinking about Premier League again. After a decent 2-0 win over Reading in FA Cup third round win and time spent in Dubai, now is the time to prepare for the big Sunday clash.

The Devils will be playing Tottenham Hotspur in a match that will be filled with storylines. It will be mostly about Mauricio Pochettino and the media talk of the Argentine manager being Ed Woodward’s first pick for next summer. There will also be the talk of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s good results and whether his players will be able to continue the winning streak against a tough opposition.

Here are some of the things we have noted about Tottenham Hotspur this season that could turn out to be important in this match.

Overperformance In Expected Goals

Spurs haver overperformed their expected goals and underperformed their expected goals against, which are both great things. They scored 43 goals, around 15 goals than the xG model would expect them to score. That is down to Tottenham having good finishers and Mauricio Pochettino usually being a manager able to make his teams overperform xG in basically all of his Premier League years. Heung Min Son has been on fire and Harry Kane has been Harry Kane.

Christian Eriksen With A Different Role

We have seen this season Eriksen with a different role than in previous years. He has become a more disciplined player in defensive part of the game, as the Danish star is not doing as much offensive work. That could be down to Spurs trying to be more solid in the middle, as that is the area of their biggest struggles. Eriksen is more controlling from deep and applying much more pressure than he used to, while his attacking numbers have gone down.

A Need Of Replacing Dembele

Mousa Dembele could be leaving Spurs this January but even if he stays, he is someone who Tottenham need to replace. And that is hard to do, as Dembele’s skillset is a unique one, at least that of peak-Dembele. Spurs lack muscle in the middle of the park, as he has not been the player he was and Wanyama is often injured, but also need that player Dembele used to be – one that can bring the ball back with his deep progressions.

Stopping Kane And Son

That is always the toughest thing. Kane and Son combine for 22 goals and nine assists in Premier League this season and no wonder they could be the key for this match. Son’s form is truly stellar and whoever starts at right-back for United, he will need to bring his best game. Kane’s intelligence is something that will also test United’s whole defence, not just centre-backs.

Targeting Full Backs

Man United could try with focusing on the wings in this match. This is where Anthony Martial could bring a lot, and even Romelu Lukaku if he was to start on the right flank. Spurs have some problems with full-backs. They have all the good players in those positions, but none that truly stand out. At right-back, Trippier is quite poor defensively and that might be Martial’s chance, while Aurier is good defensively, but can have unpredictable temper. Rose and Davies on the left are not superb either.

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