Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur headline the Premier League midweek fixtures when they clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Tottenham continued to put the pressure on the top two with another win at the weekend, while Manchester United’s draw saw them lose ground in the top four race.
Struggling For Goals
At the weekend, Manchester United played out a 0-0 stalemate with Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
The Toon came into the game in good form, having recently dispatched both Fulham and Brentford 4-1 and 5-1 respectively.
Man United were also coming into the game off the back of a win, a hard fought 1-2 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. But with the heavy derby defeat still fresh in the memory, confidence levels remain low.
Managing only two shots on target, United struggled to break down a stubborn Magpie’s defence. Ten Hag’s side felt like they had a good penalty shout turned down, but the real disappointment came late on when Fred missed what seemed like an open goal.
Minutes later, a pinpoint Casemiro cross found Marcus Rashford just a few yards out, but he couldn’t direct his header on target. Another golden opportunity missed. The draw leaves the Red Devil’s in fifth, three points adrift of the top four.
Spurs March On
Back-to-back wins since their North London derby disappointment has restored some confidence at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
A big win over in-form Brighton was followed up with a 2-0 win against Everton. Harry Kane opened the scoring from the spot after he was brought down by England colleague Jordan Pickford in the box. Kane missed a spot kick in the Champions League just a few days earlier but made no mistake this time as Spurs took the lead.
The victory was sealed just minutes from time when Rodrigo Bentancur played in Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, whose curling effort took a slight deflection before flying into the top corner.
A Cristiano Ronaldo hattrick secured all three points for United in the same fixture last season, with the Reds running out 3-2 winners in a thrilling tussle.
Can the Portuguese produce the goods again? He’s struggled for goals this season and with United themselves not firing upfront, it might be time he stepped up.
Since the 1-6 humiliation inflicted by Spurs at Old Trafford back in October 2020, United have beaten their big six rivals on the last three occasions. But Conte’s side head into the game in better form and are finding a way to win games, even if they aren’t playing well.
We aren’t expecting a classic, here. Both sides won’t want to lose and we think this will be a tight game. Antonio Conte teams are known for their defensive rigidity in big matches and will be difficult to break down.
When you pair that with Manchester United’s lack of goals this season and their struggles against the low block, it doesn’t make for an exciting match-up. With all that taken into consideration, we predict a 1-1 draw.
How do you think this one will play out? Let us know and make sure ya’ following @JDFootball for all the latest footy news!
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JD Football | November 21, 2023