An inferno of pressure is set to engulf north London this weekend, with the searing heat of the spotlight on Nuno Espirito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at maximum capacity following derby debacles on Sunday, with Man Utd capitulating 5-0 to Liverpool, and Tottenham producing a limp 1-0 reversal to West Ham.
The Red Devils entered their intense showdown with arch-adversaries Liverpool in the doldrums following a 4-2 loss to Leicester in the Premier League, a result which came after a 1-1 draw with Everton, and a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa the game before that, but this has been the nadir of Solskjaer’s reign so far.
Man Utd were listless, cumbersome and ultimately crestfallen as Liverpool tore them limb from limb in front of a capacity crowd. Solskjaer, against all odds, has somehow managed to cling onto his job, but anything other than a win here would seriously put his future into further doubt, with the tide already turning.
Spurs are equally despondent following a pedestrian and rather insipid showing against West Ham, with Espirito Santo’s men failing to register a shot on goal in the second half. The result was bad, the performance even worse, so he too is under immense pressure to pull something out of the bag here on Saturday night.
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Tottenham vs Manchester United: Match Stats
Manchester United have lacked a clinical edge in front of goal in recent times, firing a blank in two of their last four Premier League games, and racking up the second-most offsides in the division this term (23), behind only Burnley (26). If they are to get through Spurs’ defence, they will need to time their runs to perfection and not get caught straying, which they’ve struggled with across the campaign.
The spotlight here will also zero in on Cristiano Ronaldo who, after netting three goals in his first two Premier League appearances for Man Utd, hasn’t scored in any of his last four league matches, his worst run since November 2017 for Real Madrid (also four in a row). In fact, he hasn’t gone five in a row without a goal since a run of nine for Man Utd between November 2008 and January 2009.
11 Apr 2021 – Tottenham 1-3 Man Utd – Premier League
04 Oct 2020 – Man Utd 1-6 Tottenham – Premier League
19 Jun 2020 – Tottenham 1-1 Man Utd – Premier League
04 Dec 2019 – Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham – Premier League
13 Jan 2019 – Tottenham 0-1 Man Utd – Premier League
After a six-game winless run away to Tottenham in the Premier League, Manchester United have now won two of their last three visits to north London in the top flight, with a draw sandwiched between those triumphs. Their most recent visit in April saw Spurs go 1-0 up, before Man Utd battled back and netted three in the second half through Fred, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood.