After winning the game against Brighton in the Carabao Cup, Manchester United will square up against Mourinho’s Tottenham on Sunday.
It will be Jose Mourinho’s second visit to Old Trafford as Tottenham’s manager. After losing the first return to Old Trafford, the Portuguese will look to leave his mark in his second attempt.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils won their previous game after a lot of huff and puff. The 100th-minute penalty saved grace for United whereas Spurs were robbed of a victory thanks to a 97th-minute penalty. Callum Wilson converted the penalty despite Hugo Lloris diving the right way. Jose Mourinho was in despair after the referee awarded the controversial penalty.
Man United’s frailties – Bailly needed
After scraping to a victory with the final shot of the game, it has opened up Man United’s frailties. Solskjaer has to address this before he faces Mourinho. The North London boss has worked with the same players in the past and knows their strengths and weaknesses. The Norweigan manager has to make amends if he has to continue his unbeaten run over his predecessor.
Manchester have struggled without a defender who can trackback and tackle. Though Harry Maguire has dealt with aerial threats effectively, Victor Lindelof has looked fragile and too soft. He is not feared by the attackers and it has caused problems for David de Gea. Lindelof was at fault for multiple goals against Crystal Palace.
The defensive duo has shipped in five goals in two games, causing problems for the manager. Ole should think of bringing in Eric Bailly in place of the Swedish defender or shift into a formation with 3 center-backs. This strategy has produced positive signs in the past against Liverpool and Manchester City and can utilize it once again.
Field Pogba or not?
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In the football documentary by Amazon, Tottenham Hotspur: “All or Nothing”, Jose Mourinho is seen discussing the strategy for Paul Pogba. The French midfielder is known for his passing skills. However, Pogba is vulnerable to high pressing by the opposition.
This was glaringly observed in the previous season’s game against West Ham. With Jose knowing Pogba’s trade, it would be wise for Ole not to field him, but instead, bring in new recruit Donny van de Beek. The Dutchman is in great form and can be the difference against Tottenham Hotspur.
Though it would be unfair to drop in-form Nemanja Matic from the midfield trio, Fred is a live-wire in the middle of the park. He shone against Brighton in the Carabao Cup victory and has rightly staked his claim in the midfield.
He not only offers cover to the defense but also is a workhorse for the club who can join the attack too. The midfield of Bruno Fernandes – Donny van de Beek and Fred can be a daunting task for Mourinho’s midfield and defense to deal with.
— Varun K.R Aithal (@AithalVarunkr) October 3, 2020
Who to start in attack for United?
On an attacking front, Martial and Rashford should be retained, benching Mason Greenwood. The teenager can be brought later into the game as a substitute, changing the formation or taking-off Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford.
It is a big game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United haven’t signed any players apart from Donny van de Beek in the transfer window.
A defeat here can be a big step back, whereas a victory at Old Trafford will be a giant stride for the manager. Will Ole overcome Jose Mourinho once again?