Pundits make their Tottenham vs Manchester United predictions

After a three-month wait, Manchester United are back in Premier League action tonight (Friday).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men make the long trip down to North London to take on Tottenham Hotspur in their first game. It is a match that could have a big say in the makeup of the top four come the end of the season.

United currently sit in fifth place in the Premier League table, three points behind Chelsea in fourth. The Red Devils know that a win would take them above the Blues in the table due to their superior goal difference.

Tottenham are three positions and four points behind United in the table but will be able to close the gap with a win.

United came out on top in the reverse fixture back in December with a Marcus Rashford brace giving them a 2-1 win.

Here is what the pundits think the outcome of the match will be this time around.

Michael Owen, BetVictor

“Spurs drew with Burnley last time out and find themselves in eighth place, four points adrift of fifth-placed United and seven behind Chelsea in fourth, so a win is absolutely vital to their top-four chances.

“They will have been buoyed by the return to fitness of their main man Harry Kane although they will certainly miss the suspended Dele Alli.

“United fans are likely to be licking their lips at the prospect of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes starting together for the first time in what could become a midfield partnership to compare with any other in world football. They will also be delighted to see Marcus Rashford back and fit again.

“Manchester United’s form was improving drastically before the Premier League break. They went five games unbeaten in the league, including wins over Chelsea and Manchester City whereas Spurs seemed to be going in the opposite direction. “Assuming that both teams pick up where they left off, I fancy United to secure a solid away win.”

Mark Lawrenson, BBC

“It is going to be interesting to see how Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer puts his team together now he has players back fit.

“Earlier in the season, he was having to mix and match in midfield but now he has Paul Pogba back to play alongside Bruno Fernandes and they are both players of real quality.

United were doing well without Pogba but, if he is anywhere near his best form, he is going to enhance that team further.

“Tottenham have benefitted from the break too of course, in the way they have Harry Kane back available after suffering a spell where they were short of strikers and struggling for results.

“Both of these teams will have their eye on a top-five finish which might get them into the Champions League. A win would be a big boost for both of them but I think they will share the points here.

“We know what Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is like – he will just not want to lose his first game back, especially against his former club and rivals for a European place.

“But on top of that, I just think the circumstances will mean this game lacks the usual intensity you would expect when these teams meet.

“They are both fighting for the same prize, but it won’t feel like it.”

Charlie Nicholas, Sky Sports

“It is a cracker. This always falls into the category of a big game, especially with Jose Mourinho facing his old club once again. Everybody is jumping on the Manchester United bandwagon with the potential link-up of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes. They are waiting for United to come to life.

“I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a great job considering the pressure he was under, but they are no closer to the top two, and I don’t see them making the top four.

“Tottenham needed a rest as they were in meltdown. I look at Harry Kane who will be back for them, and that is a huge boost. That being said, Jose will not know what his best defence is but I imagine he will have been working hard on it – there is no Dele Alli for Tottenham too.

“A lack of fans will take an edge off it for the players. It will be 30 minutes or so that is needed to get going for these two, but I cannot separate them.”

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