Tottenham vs Manchester United: Mourinho hosts former side in mouth-watering fixture 

Harry Kane and Paul Pogba

Tottenham vs Manchester United: Mourinho hosts former side in mouth-watering fixture 

Jose Mourinho looks to get a win over Manchester United when they play host to the Red Devils tonight.

When Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho in 2018, the board claimed that the club had made a change after no progress with results or style despite spending nearly £400m on 11 players.

His replacement – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was seen as the man that will understand the philosophy of the club, more so their attacking tradition.

While the decision received equal applause and discontent among the Old Trafford faithful, one particular face was glad to see the back of the Portuguese. Paul Pogba. So vivid was this that the French World Cup winner posted a picture of himself grinning, before pulling it down.

Spurs vs Manchester United
Pogba posted a picture of him grinning after news of Mourinho’s exit – the player pulled down the post afterwards

Nearly two years later, the Frenchman’s spell continues to attract debate with Graeme Souness never a fan of the 27-year old. A tasty link with Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes is in the offing.

The France midfielder has featured eight times for the Reds this season – and not since the Boxing Day victory over Newcastle – due to a troublesome ankle injury, but is ready to return after stepping up his recovery during football’s three-month hiatus.

Solskjaer will also welcome back Marcus Rashford who had been ruled out of the season with back injury. The striker is back and will definitely feature in tonight’s clash.

First Leg

The two sides met back in December last year with the Red Devils beating Jose Mourinho’s side in the Portuguese’s first defeat as Spurs’ coach.

Rashford put United in front after six minutes with a low shot from the left-hand side of the penalty area that beat Paulo Gazzaniga at his near post.

Spurs vs United
Rashford was on target twice as United beat Spurs 2-1 in the previous match between the sides at Old Trafford

Gazzaniga tipped another Rashford effort onto the crossbar before Dele Alli equalised brilliantly six minutes before half-time.

United retook the lead four minutes into the second half from the penalty spot, Rashford converting after he was fouled by Moussa Sissoko.  

What to expect

Before the lockdown, Spurs were on a torrid trajectory, losing four matches and drawing one across all competitions.

The North-London side was without their talisman Harry Kane who was out with a hamstring injury. The striker is now fit and will lead his team’s push for a Champions League spot.

Tottenham and England Striker
Harry Kane has recovered from injury and will lead his side against United during their clash on Friday night

Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko are also fit and ready for action.

Delle Ali will miss the match due to suspension for a social media post about the coronavirus pandemic. The England international put a video on Snapchat in February in which he joked about the outbreak and appeared to mock an Asian man.

Manchester United are relishing the return to action as the squad enjoys a feel good factor with striker Marcus Rashford back in the squad and the possibility of having a midfield duo of Pogba and Fernandes.

Opta Stats

Spurs’ home league form under Mourniho has been solid: 5 Wins, 3 Losses.

United are unbeaten on the road: 5 Wins and 2 Draws.

Spurs lost their last home league game, 2-3 against Wolves.

The last time they lost back-to-back home league games was in January 2019, with those defeats coming against Wolves and Manchester United.

Dejavu?