Top four chasers Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United meet under the lights in North London this evening in what promises to be another captivating Premier League clash in the capital
Spurs acted quickly to remove interim-boss Cristian Stellini earlier this week following the horror show at Newcastle before handing the reins to stalwart Ryan Mason, who kicks off a second temporary tenure at the club against a Man Utd outfit that hasn’t convinced on the road this term.
You know the drill by now, I’ve put together a stats pack for this evening’s contest below which is laden with just about everything you need to jam your bet builder with smart selections. If you need some extra pointers, read over to my Stats Pack Guide for a helping hand.
Keeper Hugo Lloris is a major doubt for Tottenham today after he was withdrawn at half-time against Newcastle on Sunday with an injury. Fraser Forster could be handed the gloves in the Frenchman’s absence. Midfielders Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur are still sidelined, though Lucas Moura is free to feature following the end of his suspension.
Spurs switched to a back four with disastrous consequences at Newcastle, so a return to a three-at-the-back system seems likely today. Ben Davies could return to the XI, while Richarlison and Arnaut Danjuma will both hope to earn starts in attack.
Bruno Fernandes was pictured at home wearing a protective boot earlier this week and the Portuguese schemer is a major doubt ahead of this evening’s fixture. Marcel Sabitzer could replace Fernandes if the latter fails to make the cut. Former Spurs star Christian Eriksen should continue in midfield alongside Casemiro.
With Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in the treatment room, Luke Shaw could be favoured at centre-half instead of Harry Maguire. Anthony Martial should spearhead the attack with Marcus Rashford starting on the left-hand side.
Tottenham are the Premier League’s fourth-highest scoring team this season, though they rank 8th for xG per 90 which points to an overperformance in the final third. Remarkably, only five clubs in the division have been conceding more often than Spurs’ leaky backline (1.59 per 90).
Tottenham’s fixtures have also featured plenty of cards this term (2.19 for, 2.00 against p/90) and I expect them to play with extra zeal and aggression today following their recent battering at Newcastle and subsequent chance in the dugout. The hosts look like a safe bet at 2/5 in the over 1.5 cards market later on.
Despite suffering a series of heavy defeats this season, United’s goals against per 90 figure (1.23) is currently the Premier League’s fourth-best, while only five clubs have bested them for xG against (1.29 p/90). Erik ten Hag’s side have also claimed more clean sheets than anyone else so far (14).
At the business end, United have toiled at times however, and their 1.53 goals per 90 figure places them behind seven other sides in terms of attacking threat. The Red Devils’ form on the road has also been a worry, though they have won on three of their last four visits to play Tottenham in North London.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Harry Kane has been carrying the Tottenham attack on his broad shoulders again this season and the 29-year-old has been averaging 3.46 shots and 1.41 shots per 90 across another impactful campaign.
Kane managed to get two attempts on target in last weekend’s mauling at Newcastle and he racked up two more when Spurs were well beaten by United at Old Trafford in October. With his teammates failing to match his levels, Kane at even money in the 2+ shots on target stakes this evening looks like your plumb pick from the markets.
Marcus Rashford was dynamite at centre forward when United beat Tottenham 2-0 in October, though he could struggle to match his three attempts on target from a left-wing berth today. Still, the 25-year-old looks like a solid coupon filler at 3/10 to have 1+ shots on target in the return fixture.
On the flank, Antony (3.49) might be worth a look in the 3+ shots department. The Brazilian routinely operates with a shoot-on-sight policy and the 23-year-old has let fly with at least three efforts in three of his last six starts in all competitions. Antony also had four attempts on goal when United hosted Spurs last year.
Player Goals and Assists
At the risk of being accused of one-dimensional thinking, it’s really difficult to avoid being pulled in by Harry Kane’s tractor beam in the goalscoring department, and at 6/5 to score anytime, Tottenham’s talisman represents great value.
Kane has five previous career goals against Man Utd and having made his mark in five of Spurs’ last six Premier League fixtures, the 29-year-old has been carrying a golden touch in the final third in the lead-up to today’s skirmish.
Man Utd’s last ten goals were shared between seven different players and with leading marksman Marcus Rashford (one goal in six) going through a bit of a lean spell by his own high standards, identifying possible scorers or assisters for the Red Devils is tricky.
Rashford does have four previous goals against Spurs, however, including two in North London and he is priced at 6/4 in the anytime scorer’s market this evening. Elsewhere, Marcel Sabitzer could be an alternative at a bigger price at 15/8 to either score or assist if he plays ahead of Bruno Fernandes. The Austrian has clocked four goal contributions in his last seven appearances in all competitions.
Tottenham’s average possession figures have been swinging wildly from one extreme to the other in recent weeks (61% vs Everton, 35% vs Brighton, 58% vs Bournemouth and 44% vs Newcastle), though Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has managed to hit decent individual numbers throughout.
The Dane (65.4 p/90) played 77 passes against United in October and he could match that output against the same opponents today. Eric Dier (62.7) meanwhile has hit at least 50 passes in four of his last five starts in the Premier League.
Luke Shaw has been hitting a relatively modest 60.9 passes per 90 this season, though his figures tend to rise considerably when he fills in at centre-half and his accurate left foot should see plenty of the ball in that position this evening.
Diogo Dalot could be an under-the-radar option to beat 50+ passes from full-back. The Portuguese defender has cleared that barrier in each of his last five starts for United.
Tottenham Hotspur Cards and Fouls
No-nonsense Argentinean defender Cristian Romero won’t be taking any prisoners this evening – especially after his ghastly showing at Newcastle – and the 25-year-old is priced at 7/5 to add to his 11 bookings later on. Oliver Skipp (1.55 fouls p/90) likes to throw his weight around in midfield and the 22-year-old, who has sinned in 13 straight league appearances, is 2/7 in the 1+ fouls market today.
Ben Davies could have his work cut out on the left flank against buzzing Brazilian Antony. Davies has been committing 1.28 fouls per 90 this season and the markets have him at 3/10 to give away at least one free kick against United.
Antony (fouled 1.38 times p/90) has his critics, though the diminutive winger knows how to get under his marker’s skin and his skirmishes with Ben Davies today could get heated.
When selected, Marcel Sabitzer tends to draw hefty challenges in midfield (1.23) and the Austrian’s head-to-head with the impetus Oliver Skipp could feature plenty of fouls. Further forward, Anthony Martial (1.03) is adept at drawing fouls, especially during phases when he is required to hold up the ball during build up sequences. Cristiano Romero could be the latest centre-half to cross the line against Martial today.
Match-Ups to watch
Cristian Romero vs Anthony Martial
Oliver Skipp vs Marcel Sabitzer
Ben Davies vs Antony
Manchester United Cards and Fouls
Casemiro is United’s chief architect of destruction in midfield and having been carded in ten of his last 18 appearances in all competitions, the hard-hitting Brazilian could be worth squeezing into your bet builder at 13/8 to pick up another card today.
Luke Shaw (1.82 fouls per 90) has committed at least two fouls in each of his last four Premier League appearances and the stand-in centre-half is very backable at 10/11 to commit 2+ fouls this evening. Diogo Dalot doesn’t look entirely comfortable at left back and at 3/10 in the 1+ fouls arena, he represents a solid docket padder.
As Tottenham’s main playmaker from deep positions, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (fouled 1.01 times per 90) could be singled out for special attention by the cynical Casemiro later on. Elsewhere, Harry Kane (1.45) has the nous to test an out-of-position Luke Shaw in a potentially abrasive tussle between two England internationals.
If Richarlison is chosen to play on the right flank, the Brazilian’s pace and power could trouble Diogo Dalot. The United defender can be panicked into rash challenges when he’s put on the ropes.
Match-Ups to watch
Casemiro vs Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Luke Shaw vs Harry Kane
Diogo Dalot vs Richarlison
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
The Tottenham vs Man United bet builder will be posted later on on the Live Football Tips Page using the £5 free bet from Betfair’s Bet £5 Get £5 offer from the Man City vs Arsenal game yesterday.