It could be the game that decides the fate of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose side travel to face Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Last Sunday marked a turning point for the worst as Solskjaer’s side were humiliated during their 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford by bitter rivals Liverpool, while Spurs were defeated 1-0 away to West Ham.
Following their dismal evening where Mo Salah became the first opposition player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford, the pressure has never been heavier for the Manchester United manager whose side now sit in 7th place.
Whether Solskjaer’s fate has already been sealed remains to be seen, but defeats to Leicester and Aston Villa alongside sub-par performances in between suggest the defeat to Liverpool was not a blip.
To make matters worse, Manchester United must face Atalanta away following their game with Spurs, along with the Manchester derby shortly after and a trip to Chelsea to conclude a tough run of fixtures.
With one clean sheet in their last 20 games in all competitions – conceding a massive 34 goals in that period – it is the worst defensive record out of all the Premier League sides and shows huge weakness defensively which Spurs will surely look to capitalise on.
A manager equalling feeling the pressure is Nuno Santo whose Spurs side have suffered back-to-back defeats to Vitesse and West Ham, though earnt a 1-0 away victory against Burnley in the Carabao Cup.
Spurs find themselves one place above Manchester United in sixth position on 15 points, winning five and losing four of their nine games so far which has brought mixed reviews of the Portuguese manager’s side so far.
Consistency has been something the North London club have struggled with in the current campaign.
Though after heavy defeats to Chelsea and Arsenal in September, Spurs managed to regain some form by earning victories against Aston Villa and Newcastle.
Goals have been hard to come by for Tottenham, having scored just nine goals in nine games this season.
It has been no surprise with star striker Harry Kane registering just one Premier League goal so far – his worst start to a campaign in his career which has seen a dip following the summer saga involving his failed move to Manchester City.
Tottenham have won only one of their last five matches against Manchester United, with the last game ending in a 3-1 defeat the last time Solskjaer’s men came to the capital.
Nuno will be without Ryan Sessegnon due to his long-term injury, while summer signing Bryan Gil remains a doubt following an injury sustained midweek against Burnley in the Carabao Cup.
Aside from that, there are no fresh concerns following their midweek game with Harry Kane playing the full 90 minutes and Son Hueng-min being rested for the match.
Giovanni Lo Celso and Steven Bergwijn are in contention to start against United, though face competition from Lucas Moura and Tanguy Ndombele.
As for Manchester United, they will be without Paul Pogba who received a straight red card against Liverpool shortly after being substituted on.
Solskjaer will welcome the news that Raphael Varane could return to the side after his three-week absence due to a groin injury, as the Norwegian looks to make drastic changes from the side which suffered the humiliating defeat last weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United – kick off at 5:30pm (UK time) on Saturday 30th October 2021
Written by Joel Tudor