BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson has shared his prediction ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Manchester United in North London this evening.
Jose Mourinho’s side take to the field at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having not won any of their last six matches in all competitions before lockdown hit.
The Spurs head coach was without the services of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn but can now call upon the quartet after the three-month hiatus gave each player the opportunity to overcome their respective injury issues.
Mourinho will certainly be hoping that his side’s defensive frailities will have improved, no side has kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League than Tottenham this season (4).
The last time the North Londonders kept as few clean sheets after 29 Premier League games was in 2006/07 (also 4), when they also conceded in their 30th game that term.
Lawrenson has tipped both sides to play out a score draw, which will certainly not help either team in their quest to try and catch fourth-placed Chelsea.
He told BBC Sport: “It is going to be interesting to see how Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer puts his team together now he has players back fit.
“Earlier in the season, he was having to mix and match in midfield but now he has Paul Pogba back to play alongside Bruno Fernandes and they are both players of real quality.
“United were doing well without Pogba but, if he is anywhere near his best form, he is going to enhance that team further.
“Tottenham have benefitted from the break too of course, in the way they have Harry Kane back available after suffering a spell where they were short of strikers and struggling for results.
“Both of these teams will have their eye on a top-five finish which might get them into the Champions League. A win would be a big boost for both of them but I think they will share the points here.
“We know what Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is like – he will just not want to lose his first game back, especially against his former club and rivals for a European place.
“But on top of that, I just think the circumstances will mean this game lacks the usual intensity you would expect when these teams meet.
“They are both fighting for the same prize, but it won’t feel like it.
“Lawro’s prediction: 1-1.”
If Tottenham have any hope of a late push for a Champions League place, nothing less than three points will do this evening. United could extend their advantage over Spurs in the table to eight points if they come away from North London with a victory.
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