Premier League Preview: Man Utd v. Spurs
- Man Utd leads all-time 87W-49D-50L
- Kane out for Spurs
- Homes have won five-straight in series
A match for sole possession of second place in the Premier League table pits Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Both sides are coming off losses, Spurs in a stunning League Cup capitulation to West Ham and United at Huddersfield Town (The Red Devils did win midweek in the League Cup).
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Adding insult to injury, or injury to injury, is a hamstring injury for Harry Kane. Spurs’ star striker had 13 goals in 12 matches between the Premier League and Champions League, and puts Fernando Llorente in focus. The ex-Swans striker is yet to score this season.
Spurs and United trail Man City by five points for the Premier League lead, with the table-toppers off to West Brom on Saturday. A loser of Saturday’s match at Old Trafford would sit third, as both clubs have four-point advantages on Chelsea and Arsenal.
What they’re saying
Man Utd’s Ander Herrera on the task at hand: “Tottenham are a direct rival every season. In the last two or three years they have improved a lot and they are contenders for everything; the Champions League, the Premier League and for both cups. They are very organised, they play really good football and they have players who can score... even their fullbacks are very offensive. It will be a big statement if we beat them.”
Pochettino on Spurs without Kane: “Last season in the period he was injured you can see the stats, win or lose with Harry, win or lose without Harry. I’m not happy, I’m disappointed, because Harry is our main striker, he’s one of the best players not just in Tottenham, in Europe, in the world. Always you are going to miss your best striker. I’m not silly or stupid to talk in a different way, but that is football.”
Perhaps more important than Kane’s absence is how it changes Jose Mourinho’s plans to handle Spurs. Is the talisman’s absence enough to move Mourinho more offensive against a wildly talented attack with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen? We think so, in some capacity, and we also think the missing Kane tilts the scales toward the Old Trafford set. United 2-0 through Romelu Lukaku.