Tottenham v Manchester United: Preview and prediction

By Sports Desk April 26, 2023

Ryan Mason demanded a reaction from Tottenham's players after stepping up to replace Cristian Stellini as acting head coach, ahead of Thursday's visit of Manchester United.

Former Spurs midfielder Mason took charge on Monday, with Stellini removed from his role following a dismal 6-1 defeat at Newcastle United – who led 5-0 within just 21 minutes.

While Tottenham appear highly unlikely to contend for a top-four finish, there are still European spots up for grabs as they prepare to host Erik ten Hag's Red Devils.

Asked what he expected to see from Spurs against United, Mason said: "A reaction, absolutely.

"Obviously Sunday was disappointing for us, and I would hope and expect there's a reaction from not only the players, but everyone in the building and everyone involved in the club.

"I've been in football long enough to know things can turn around very quickly. I believe we can make a positive impact. We have a game on Thursday to try and react and get back to winning ways.

"So the feeling and the thought isn't on the whole situation – it's about how we're going to influence the players and get some positivity back."

United approach Thursday's game in high spirits, having reached the FA Cup final through Sunday's penalty shoot-out win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Possessing a six-point lead over Tottenham with two games in hand, United could effectively end their hosts' ailing top-four hopes with a victory.

Asked how important the game was to United's own bid for Champions League football, Ten Hag said: "Very. You see the table. It is quite clear.

"But our approach will not change. Our approach is we want to win every game.

"I have to make sure that our players are ready for tomorrow. I have to make sure that they have energy and are on the front foot to go into battle."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tottenham – Harry Kane

Kane has scored 99 Premier League home goals for Tottenham, and is bidding to become the first player to reach a century of goals in both home and away games in the competition.

He has scored five league goals against Manchester United in his career, but only one of those has come at home – in the final game played at White Hart Lane in May 2017.

Manchester United – Marcus Rashford

Having scored 10 goals in his first 10 Premier League appearances following the World Cup break, Rashford has now scored just once in his last five outings in the competition.

Just three of his 15 league goals this term have come away from home, but with the Red Devils harbouring doubts over Bruno Fernandes' fitness, Rashford will be required to step up in north London.

MATCH PREDICTION – TOTTENHAM WIN

United have won their last three Premier League games by an aggregate score of 5-0. They have not won four successive matches in the competition without conceding since their final season under Alex Ferguson in 2012-13, winning six consecutive games to nil between February and March 2013.

The Red Devils have won 39 Premier League games against Tottenham. No side has beaten a single opponent more often in the competition's history, while they are also unbeaten in seven midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) games in the Premier League this term (W5 D2).

However, the visitors have conceded 29 away goals in the Premier League this season, only ever shipping more on the road in a single campaign last term (35), and their injury problems may inspire hope of a new manager bounce for Spurs.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Tottenham 42.0 per cent

Manchester United 30.1 per cent

Draw 27.9 per cent

Related items

  • Fernandes: Ten Hag and Man Utd deserved FA Cup glory after tough season Fernandes: Ten Hag and Man Utd deserved FA Cup glory after tough season

    Bruno Fernandes believes Erik ten Hag and Manchester United deserved to win the FA Cup after a challenging campaign.

    Goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo gave United a 2-1 victory over Manchester City in Saturday's final at Wembley.

    The cup victory comes amid strong reports that manager Ten Hag will be relieved of his duties in the near future following an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

    But with Ten Hag potentially going out on a high, Fernandes feels Ten Hag and the club earned their opportunity to walk up the famous Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup.

    "It is crucial for everyone," Fernandes told the BBC. "We know the manager is under so much scrutiny. He deserves this, also everyone in the backroom staff and the players, we all deserve this.

    "It was the last chance to get something positive from the season. We were here last season and we weren't good enough, and we had to see them [City] go up and get the trophy.

    "They have great quality, great players, a great manager. We had to sacrifice and suffer but we did great things. I try my best to help the team."

    In scoring United's second, Mainoo (19 years and 36 days) became the first English teenager to net in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981 (19y 172d) and the youngest to do so since John Sissons for West Ham against Preston North End in 1964 (18y 215d).

    Fernandes hailed the impact of Mainoo, who earlier this week was named in Gareth Southgate's provisional 33-man England squad for the upcoming European Championships in Germany.

    "Kobbie Mainoo is really good, such a quality player and you can see the composure he had with the finish," Fernandes continued.

    "He came through the academy and once more on the biggest stage in the world he showed it again.

    "Congratulations to everyone, the staff, the players and all the fans, they have given us a big push. Finally, we have something to celebrate."

  • Mainoo hails Man Utd togetherness as Red Devils stun rivals City in FA Cup final Mainoo hails Man Utd togetherness as Red Devils stun rivals City in FA Cup final

    Kobbie Mainoo lauded the togetherness demonstrated by Manchester United as they stunned rivals Manchester City 2-1 to claim the FA Cup.

    Mainoo and fellow teenager Alejandro Garnacho were on target at Wembley to deny Pep Guardiola's side the double after they secured their record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title last weekend.

    Although Erik ten Hag's job was reportedly on the line - regardless of the result - United defended brilliantly to largely keep City at bay, despite Jeremy Doku's late strike for the Citizens.

    The Red Devils subsequently held out to end a disappointing season on a high, securing a place in the Europa League next term with their first FA Cup triumph since 2016.

    And Mainoo, who was named in Gareth Southgate's provisional England squad for the forthcoming European Championship, saluted the efforts of United's players and staff.

    "[It means] absolutely everything," he told BBC Sport. "It's been a tough season of ups and downs. All the fans had to look forward to was this final. Last year, I was in the stands watching. I couldn't be involved.

    "We knew we had to come together. The staff and the players, the preparation has been amazing. We showed that we can compete, we can come together and win on such a big stage."

    Garnacho also paid tribute to his team-mate, who became the first English teenager to score in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981, while dedicating the victory to United's supporters.

    "Just incredible; I say he's the best player in the squad, and he's the youngest. I'm so happy for him," the Argentine said of Mainoo.

    "[It is an] incredible feeling. Nobody believed in us, but we are together, here with these fans. An incredible moment for us, also for me and Kobbie to score the goals, but all together, we fought like it was the last day of our lives. We're so happy.

    "The fans were incredible. They're always there – home games, away games, now Wembley. We won for the fans."

  • Celtic 1-0 Rangers: Idah late show seals Scottish Cup glory for Hoops Celtic 1-0 Rangers: Idah late show seals Scottish Cup glory for Hoops

    Adam Idah scored a last-gasp winner as Celtic claimed the Scottish Cup by beating Old Firm rivals Rangers 1-0 on Saturday.

    Idah came on from the bench to net a 90th-minute winner for the Hoops, who secured a league and cup double in Brendan Rodgers' first season back in charge.

    Rangers thought they had taken the lead midway through the second half at Hampden Park, when Abdallah Sima tapped in from on the line.

    However, VAR came to Celtic's rescue, with the onfield referee overturning his decision to give the goal when the replays showed Nicolas Raskin had pushed Hoops goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was playing in his last match before retirement.

    Celtic made their good fortune count, with Idah reacting sharply to slam home from close range after Jack Butland spilled a shot.

    It gave Rangers no time to respond, as Celtic sealed their 42nd Scottish Cup crown.

    Data Debrief: Hart bows out on top

    Hart confirmed his retirement several weeks ago, and the former England goalkeeper goes out on the highest note possible, with a domestic double.

    The 37-year-old retires with six titles to his name with Celtic, following on from five trophies during his time with Manchester City.

    In what proved to be his final Scottish Cup campaign, Hart conceded five goals in five appearances, keeping three clean sheets and recording a save percentage of 66.67.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.