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Pundits predict Man Utd vs Spurs scoreline

Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur in the first Premier League game of the weekend and an important clash at the top of the table.

We start the weekend level on points with Spurs in second place, both five points behind leaders Manchester City.

Mauricio Pochettino handed us an excellent injury boost yesterday with the announcement that Harry Kane will not be risked at Old Trafford today after picking up a hamstring injury in their 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool last weekend.  Kane had been in excellent goalscoring form.

Prior to the game, some UK football pundits have made their predictions for today’s game, as follows:

Mark Lawrenson

“I was at United’s defeat at Huddersfield last week and the worrying thing for me about it was that Mourinho’s side had no fight about them in the first half.

It was a horrible day in the wind and rain and, to begin with, the Terriers were the only team that turned up. They got really tight on United and, apart from David de Gea in goal, no-one performed for them – they were like the invisible team.
The best team won – Jose Mourinho

United were better on Tuesday in their win over Swansea in the Carabao Cup, though, and I am expecting another improvement from them this weekend.

This is a little bit of a crossroads game for United, more than it is for Spurs. Mourinho’s side made a really good start and had 20 points from their first eight games, including their draw at Anfield – which I thought was a decent result by the way.

But then they lost at Huddersfield and if they fall over again here then they could be eight points behind City, who go to West Brom on Saturday.
Premier League top six – 1 Manchester City, 2 Manchester United, 3 Tottenham, 4 Chelsea, 5 Arsenal, 6 Watford

Tottenham, who are level on points with United, have title aspirations of their own of course – and this is a big week for them as they host Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

A draw at Old Trafford would be a good result for them. For any of the top six teams. if they can go away to one of their direct rivals and get a point, I think they will be happy with that.”

Lawro’s prediction: 1-1

Paul Merson

“It’s no surprise but the West Ham defeat proved it, Tottenham are a different team without Harry Kane.

But I watched Manchester United at Huddersfield and they were poor. That was after they went to Liverpool and just shut up shop – those results have left them behind the eight ball. They are five points behind Man City and have a difficult match coming up.

United need to take the game to Tottenham and I’m not sure they can do that. Spurs would probably take a draw but their away record has been phenomenal recently.

And if Mauricio Pochettino’s team really have aspirations of winning the title themselves, this is a fixture they need to win. The way Man City are playing at the moment, winning at United gives you every chance of challenging.”

Merson’s prediction: 1-1

Michael Owen

“Spurs were magnificent last weekend against Liverpool and were ruthless in their 4-1 defeat of The Reds at Wembley. However, they continue to struggle for consistency and let a two-goal lead slip midweek against rivals West Ham in the Carabao Cup. United were left shocked after their 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jose Mourinho brought out his own version of the hairdryer in West Yorkshire. I expect it to be end-to-end stuff at Old Trafford and expect both sides to find the scoresheet in Saturday’s early kick-off.”

Owen’s prediction: Both Teams to Score

Ben Pringle from the Express

“Kane will prove the difference”

Pringle’s prediction: 1-2

This article in the Express was published 2 hours ago.  They obviously don’t keep an eye on the football news.

There you have it – no one has faith in David de Gea keeping a clean sheet today despite both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones expected to be fit to start, and with us keeping clean sheets in seven of our nine Premier League matches so far this season.

Although Michael Owen didn’t give an outcome on the match none of the other three pundits are backing a home win either.  Let’s hope Jose Mourinho and co can prove them wrong today!