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Tottenham vs Manchester United – the key individual battles that could decide huge Premer League clash – Tyrone Marshall


It’s been a dream start to life in the Old Trafford hotseat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with five wins out of five as caretaker manager.

But the Norwegian faces his biggest test yet this weekend when he takes United to Wembley to face an in-form Tottenham side.

United, under Jose Mourinho, went behind just 11 seconds into last season’s away fixture, and they also fell to a chastening 3-0 defeat earlier in this campaign at Old Trafford.

But under new management, and with more attacking intent, there is optimism that the Reds may come away from their London trip with a positive outcome.

There will be decisive battles all over the large expanse of grass that is the national stadium, but these are three that could go some way to deciding whether Solskjaer’s flying start can continue.

Anthony Martial v Kieran Trippier

Solskjaer has got United’s attack purring since his arrival and while Marcus Rashford has taken plenty of the acclaim for his performances as a central striker, Anthony Martial has had a significant contribution from the left.

Martial, Rashford and Jesse Lingard have pace to burn and the speed of United’s attacks has notably increased since Solskjaer arrived at the club.

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Anthony Martial was on the scoresheet in Solskjaer’s first game in charge

They will hope to pick Tottenham off on the counter at Wembley and while Martial will have a role to play in that he will also hope to force Kieran Trippier into more defending than attacking.

Trippier can be one of Tottenham‘s best creative outlets if he gets forward, with a pin-point cross on him, and Martial will have to keep tabs on the England right-back when he breaks forward.

Latest Manchester United news ahead of Tottenham fixture

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Paul Pogba v Moussa Sissoko

These two may not be occupying the same area of the Wembley pitch to begin with, but such is the unpredictable nature of their games that they could be popping up anywhere during the course of the afternoon.

Pogba has been revitalised by Solskjaer‘s arrival at United, or perhaps more pertinently by Jose Mourinho‘s departure, and playing in a more advanced midfield role he has four goals and three assists in the last four Premier League games.

 

He will look to stamp his influence on this game and prove that he has what it takes to dominate a midfield in even the very biggest Premier League fixtures.

Nobody can be quite sure what to expect from Sissoko. He can chaotic at times as he charges around the middle of the pitch, sometimes to the opposition but occasionally to his own side as well. There’s no doubt his powerful runs could hurt United, but they will hope to exploit his weaknesses.

Victor Lindelof v Harry Kane

The one big unknown of the Solskjaer era so far is how much remedial work he has managed to do on United’s defence.

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Victor Lindelof will need to keep his eye on the ball and Harry Kane on Sunday

Back-to-back clean sheets against Newcastle and Reading haven’t convinced and they did concede to Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth in his first Premier League games in charge.

This will be a big test for that United defence against an attack that is scoring plenty of goals at the moment. Victor Lindelof has probably been United’s most consistent centre back so far this season and while Son-heung Min is a major danger for Tottenham, denying Harry Kane any space for the chances he thrives on has to be the first priority.

 

 



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