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Tottenham v Man Utd betting tips: Solskjaer faces first big test

Richard Marsh | 13 January 2019

Preview and odds for Premier League clash at Wembley

After five wins from five, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can do no wrong as Manchester United boss.

The Norwegian has overhauled the gloomy atmosphere, and has brought about free-flowing football and goals galore.

But United have had an easy time of things fixture-wise. They haven’t played a team inside the top-10 since Jose Mourinho was sacked. Now they must face a Tottenham Hotspur side still hunting trophies on four fronts.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have won six of their last seven league games. Will they end Solskjaer’s honeymoon period under the Wembley arch?

It’s all live on Sky Sports Premier League, kicking off at 4:30pm, but who will prevail?

Head-to-head

These two have developed a real rivalry in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. Of the 12 meetings since Fergie stepped down, both sides have won five times, with two draws.

It’s worth noting, however, that despite winning the FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley last April, United haven’t won at Spurs in the league since 2012.

As for the formbook, both teams are racking up points for fun.  United have won four on the spin since the change of management, while it’s four in five for Spurs.

Their preparations for this game can’t have been starker, however. Spurs edged out Chelsea 1-0 in the first leg of a taxing Carabao Cup semi-final clash on Tuesday night, while United have spent the week enjoying warm weather training in Dubai.

Likely XIs

Lucas Moura is the only absent forward for Pochettino, so that should mean his XI is fairly easy to gauge.

Harry Kane will lead the line, with Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min hoping to cause mischief in support.

Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier are all still out, however. That means Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko will continue as Spurs’ midfield duo.

And with Jan Vertonghen out too, Davison Sanchez should slot in alongside Toby Alderweireld once more at the back.

For United, boss Solskjaer has options now that Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku are both back.

The pair both started in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Reading last weekend, but in their absence, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have run the show in the league.

Solskjaer may opt for Lukaku up front, with Rashford and Martial either side.

Paul Pogba should return after missing the Reading win through injury and is likely to form a midfield trio with Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic.

At the back, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling are out, meaning Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones is the likely partnership in the middle.

Key battles

This should be a free-flowing, entertaining encounter. Pochettino’s attacking quartet are irresistible when on song. Will Solskjaer set out to stifle Spurs a-la Mourinho? Or will he fight fire with fire?

Eriksen will be the creator. The Dane has already provided seven league assists this season, but will need to get the better of Matic and Herrera if he’s to supply Son, Alli and Kane.

Equally, Sissoko and Winks can’t afford Pogba time on the ball, given the Frenchman’s current form.

Both side’s full-backs are in for a busy shift too. Alli and Son’s movements can cause havoc for Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, while Rashford and Martial’s energy can do likewise for Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies or Danny Rose.

Match odds

Despite United’s recent resurgence, they’re still outsiders for this one. Our traders hand Spurs 21/20 favouritism to continue their Premier League challenge.

There’s 23/10 about the Red Devils’ putting a dent in Tottenham’s title tilt, while 13/5 says it ends all-square.

With 14 league goals already this term, Kane is on the charge for another Golden Boot. The England international opened the scoring in that 3-0 Old Trafford win in August, and is 7/2 favourite to net first and 21/20 anytime.

Son is a shorter price to score the opener than any United player, too. The South Korean international is 9/2 to break the deadlock.

Lukaku is United’s first goalscorer favourite at 11/2, with Rashford 13/2. And after four goals over the festive period, Pogba is 23/10 anytime.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing