The North London side could put an end to Solskjaer’s feel-good run as Red Devils interim boss when the two sides battle it out at Wembley on Sunday
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces his first real test as Manchester United interim boss when his side take on Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Sunday in the Premier League.
Man United currently sport the best form in the league, recording four straight wins since Jose Mourinho was dismissed following their early December loss to Liverpool. A win would take them level with Arsenal in fifth place.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side, meanwhile, have registered four wins out of their last five games and will be eager to complete the double over the Red Devils after their 3-0 win at Old Trafford early on in the season.
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UK TV channel Online stream
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Squads & Team News
Position Tottenham players
Goalkeepers Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga
Defenders Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters, Foyte, Aurier, Davies
Midfielders Son, Winks, Wanyama, Nkoudou, Dier, Sissoko, Alli, Eriksen, Moura
Forwards Kane, Llorente
Eric Dier is nearing a return to the XI after missing out on the last month of action due to appendicitis recovery, while Mousa Dembele is available for selection following a return from an ankle injury – though he may not feature depending on the status of a potential move to China.
Victor Wanyama is unavailable as he returns from a long-term knee injury, while Jan Vertonghen (thigh) returns to the squad.
Lucas Moura (knee injury) will be assessed ahead of the game.
Potential Tottenham XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose; Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele Alli; Son, Kane.
Position Man United players
Goalkeepers De Gea, Grant, Romero
Defenders Jones, Dalot, Shaw, Young, Valencia, Darmian
Midfielders Pogba, Mata, Matic, McTominay, Herrera, Lingard, Pereira, Fred, Fellaini, Gomes, Hamilton
Forwards Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Chong, Bohui
Paul Pogba missed the FA Cup win over Reading due to the thigh injury after a challenge involving Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey, but has returned to full fitness ahead of the clash in North London after he joined up with his teammates in Dubai for a warm-weather training camp over the New Year period.
Alexis Sanchez hobbled on Saturday but should be available for selection against Tottenham, while Eric Bailly is still suspended for the Red Devils following his red card against Bournemouth.
Chris Smalling (ankle) is a doubt, however, with Marcos Rojo still unavailable.
Potential Man United XI: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial.
Spurs are priced at odds of winning 11/10 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 27/10. A win for United is priced at 13/5.
Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
Following consecutive straight wins against mid-tier Premier League sides Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Newcastle, Solskjaer will be given his first challenge when his side travel to north London to take on a Tottenham side who are contenders for the title and sit third in the Premier League table.
It will be an interesting match-up as Pochettino remains Man United’s number one target to fill in the role as permanent manager following the dismissal of Mourinho, though Solskjaer is giving the Red Devils board a run for their money as he has enjoyed a winning streak since assuming the interim role in mid-December.
The club legend and fan favourite has been successful in lifting spirits and the mood of the fans since Mourinho’s exit having won five of their games in all competitions. Though Pochettino remains first on Man United’s managerial wishlist, a win against the Spurs boss for the former Norway international could put him in good stead to turn his interim role into a permanent one.
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Lilywhites superstar Harry Kane has the opportunity to emerge as the outright Premier League top-scorer should he score against the Red Devils, sitting alongside Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 14 goals apiece.
Spurs will be flying high following their 7-0 win over Tranmere in the FA Cup and their 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final. A win against Man United will buoy their status as title challengers – sitting just one point behind runners-up Manchester City heading into the game – though still face the tough task of catching up to a Liverpool side sitting pretty at seven points above Pep Guardiola’s side.
A victory over Solskjaer would take the north Londoners to second place temporarily, as Man City play on Monday.