With Man United due at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, the question that looms large is, how many more times can these players be asked to go to the well?
We have spent most of our last two home games, against Wolves and Chelsea, under the cosh and looking leggy. We seem to have played every few days since the beginning of December and the likes of Kane, Alderweireld, Sissoko, Winks, Eriksen and Son have barely had time to shower after a game before they’ve been asked to get ready for the next one.
We have played twelve times since Dec 2nd.
As has often been repeated we have a larger squad than last year thanks to Skipp and Foyth coming through and Lamela, Winks and Rose recovering from injuries but before every game the eleven selected have to step over a small pile of crocked players and it’s negating the benefits of this. This weekend, probably unavailable for Sunday’s game are Dier, Vertonghen, Wanyama and Lucas all of whom would be likely to play if fit. And that’s without mentioning the imminently departing Dembélé.
Remember that it’s not that long ago that the tiredness of Harry Kane was pretty much a subject of national debate.
Thus far, of course, Poch has managed his limited resources to stunning effect. There have been seven defeats in total true, but still we find ourselves looking good in three cups and sitting a close third in the two-horse race for the Premier League. It is a remarkable achievement especially when one remembers our pretty much useless, thanks to the World Cup, pre-season.
Has anyone noticed that Man United have a new manager? You’d think the media would have mentioned it.
Virtually every football news outlet has turned into a version of the Man Utd press department since the introduction of Solskjaer to Old Trafford. He has pumped a bit of life into what otherwise seemed a pretty unconscious beast and it’s tickled the sensitive bits of every journalist with an eye on an easy story. Five wins in a row, clean sheets, a bit of style all glued together with some Norwegian charm has been all it took.
On the field Pogba and Rashford in particular have benefited most from Ole’s laissez-faire approach and even Lingard is showing signs of interest which is all well and good. At the back though they still have to pick from Bailly, Jones, Lindelof, Young, Shaw and Valencia. Surely Harry, Son, Dele and Christian can make some inroads into that collection of underachievers?
Our injuries mean that the team all but picks itself with Poch having only which full-backs to play to mull over. It’ll be a surprise if we don’t field Hugo, Trips/Aurier, Rose/Davies, Toby, Sanchez, Winks, Sissoko, Dele, Eriksen, Son and Kane, no matter what their measurements on the Fatigue-O-Meter.
Tactically, Sissoko may be asked to spend a lot of time with Pogba, his physical attributes should help to staunch what is the visitors biggest creative asset.
We are hot favourites with the bookies, 21/10 v 11/4 and were Mourinho still in charge I’d concur. A tired Spurs though against a Man Utd with something to prove? It’ll be a close game.
Mike Dean (oh no) is the man in the middle.
COYS. Let’s do ‘em.
Spurs vs Man Utd Betting Tips
Spurs could become the first team since Everton in 1987 to win four consecutive home top-flight matches against Manchester United. Tottenham to win and both teams to score is 47/20.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored eight goals in his last eight Premier League starts. He is 10/1 to score a hat-trick.
After winning their last four league games against fellow ‘big six’ opposition last season, Manchester United are winless in their five such matches this term (D2 L3). A 1-1 draw is 13/2.
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