George Pitts is expecting Manchester United to bounce back from their defeat at Brighton - and he has 13/8 and 5/1 tips for a blockbuster Monday Night Football as Spurs visit Old Trafford.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Man United v Tottenham (20:00, Sky Sports Main Event)
Perhaps the most eye-catching sporting fixture of the Bank Holiday weekend is reserved for Monday night as Manchester United take on Tottenham at Old Trafford.
The two sides have had contrasting starts to the season, with United’s defeat at Brighton last week summing up a frustrating summer for Jose Mourinho.
In the opposite dugout, Mauricio Pochettino surprisingly did not add to his squad but he's been repaid with two wins from two so far, albeit in games against Newcastle and Fulham which they'd have been expected to win.
Spurs will be hoping to capitalise on the Red Devils’ recent woes, but it is often the most difficult time to play them with home advantage having been key in this fixture, United winning it every year since a surprise defeat in January 2014.
At a best price of 13/8, United are big enough to justify faith without the safety net of draw-no-bet at just under even money, a price which again may underestimate Mourinho's capacity to conjure a result in games like this.
Some reports suggest the manager's communication with players has broken down in recent weeks, but the situation at the club appears to have been blown well out of proportion and United can silence their critics with three points.
Mourinho gave his side two days off despite the defeat at the Amex, and in exchange he will have demanded absolute focus and dedication from his players on the training ground as they work on a plan to once again get the better of Spurs.
It's telling that United did not suffer back-to-back defeats in the league last season and there's a more specific precedent to be found last October, when they lost at Huddersfield before grinding out a 1-0 victory over Spurs at Old Trafford.
With key players returning and Spurs having been exposed at the back by far lesser sides, I'm keen to explore the idea that this could be a case of seriously bad timing for the visitors, and upwards of 6/4 about a home win is more than acceptable.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
There is never really a great time to be playing Manchester United at Old Trafford, never mind after a defeat. As mentioned, Jose Mourinho's side bounced back well from blows similar to their Brighton defeat last term and they can put an end to talk of crisis with victory over their top-four rivals.
They could be boosted by the return of Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia and Alexis Sanchez which should be huge. Mourinho sets his sides up well for clashes against their rivals and, providing they can keep the likes of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen quiet, they should edge the Londoners.
Best bet: Manchester United to win at 13/8
At this price, it is worth backing a home win. Very rarely will you see United priced so well to win on home turf and with the 'us against the world' mentality in full swing by Mourinho, which he has used so often over the years, it is hard to argue otherwise.
Much is said of Romelu Lukaku's poor record against the top six. He got off the mark at Brighton and is at a best price of 37/19 anytime but there do remain concerns about his record in games such as this one. In contrast, Jesse Lingard often thrives and made his first appearance of the season at Brighton as a substitute. He is a player Mourinho likes, he tends to pop up on big occasions, and his manager needs him to produce something here. The advice is to wait for team news before backing him, but without that luxury here we'll take a chance at 5/1 about a player who can get one over his England colleagues on the other side.
- Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia and Alexis Sanchez have been training with Manchester United this week and could make the matchday 18, although Mourinho said there are "still decisions to be made".
- Diogo Dalot has also joined his new team-matches on the training field, although is not likely to feature on Monday.
- Victor Wanyama (knee) has begun training with the team but will not feature at Old Trafford, while Juan Foyth (thigh) is continuing his rehabilitation.
- Heung-Min Son will also not be available as he continues to take part in the Asian Games with South Korea.
Pre-match Opta facts and statistics
- Manchester United have won 21 of their 26 home Premier League games against Spurs (D3 L2), winning each of the last four without conceding a goal.
- Spurs have lost more away Premier League matches at Old Trafford (21) than any team has lost away from home at a stadium in the competition’s history.
- Tottenham Hotspur have won just nine points in 26 trips away at Manchester United in the Premier League (W2 D3 L21): eight away teams have won more PL points at Old Trafford, including West Bromwich Albion (12 points in 12 visits) and Middlesbrough (13 points in 15 visits).
- The side playing at home in Premier League meetings between Manchester United and Spurs has won each of the last seven matches, stretching back to March 2015 – prior to this run, the home team in this fixture had won just seven of the previous 24 meetings.
- A team from London hasn’t won away against Manchester United in the Premier League since Spurs’ win on New Year’s Day 2014 – since then, London clubs have taken just seven points from a possible 66 at Old Trafford (P22 W0 D7 L15).
- Manchester United’s next Premier League home defeat will be their 50th in the competition at Old Trafford. 31% (15) of their Premier League home defeats have come since 2013/14; the first season without Sir Alex Ferguson in charge.
- Harry Kane (18 goals) has scored two goals more than Romelu Lukaku (16) versus ‘big six’ opposition in the Premier League; this despite playing 2008 minutes fewer and attempting 31 shots fewer than the Belgian in these games.
- David de Gea has conceded 10 goals from the last 14 shots on target that he’s faced for Spain and Manchester United combined since the start of the 2018 World Cup.
- After winning his first seven managerial encounters with Mauricio Pochettino in league competition between September 2010 and December 2014, Jose Mourinho has only been successful twice in his last six league games with the Argentine boss (W2 D1 L3).
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Posted at 2020 on 26/08/18