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PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

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In a game that already has early influence on the Champions League race, Sunday sees Jose Mourinho return to Old Trafford for the second time since his sacking as his Tottenham side play Manchester United live on Sky Sports Main Event as both sides aim to get their second league win of the new campaign.

The action will be televised live on Sky Sports and all We Love Sport pub and bars will be broadcasting the live action. You can pre book your table for the match and redeem a free pint by downloading the app today.

RECENT FORM

Manchester United are coming into Sunday’s fixture after beating Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 at the Amex courtesy of a last-minute penalty from Bruno Fernandes. The game vs Tottenham gives United to chance to register their first home win of the league campaign, after they lost 3-1 at Old Trafford to Crystal Palace in their first game of the season. Likewise, Tottenham have also not started the season as smoothly as they would like to have done. They might have won their second league game, 5-2 away to Southampton, but Everton defeated the Lilywhites on the opening weekend of the season and last time out they were robbed of all three points after Callum Wilson scored a 95th minute penalty after an incredibly dubious handball was given against Eric Dier.

GUESS WHO’S BACK… BACK AGAIN!

He’s back again. Jose returns for the second time to Old Trafford nearly two years after his sacking. On his first visit back, his Tottenham team fell short as Marcus Rashford scored twice in a 2-1 win for United. Since leaving United, Mourinho has managed against them twice, with the other game being the first after lockdown which finished 1-1. Jose Mourinho’s time at Manchester United is very mixed. He bought Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the club – two world stars. Not only this, he won the Europa League and Carabao Cup in his first season in charge. Manchester United also finished second under Jose, which is their highest ever finish since Sir Alex Ferguson departed in 2013, an achievement which Jose has called “the best in his career”. Despite this success, fans grew sick of the style of defensive football and in December 2018, United sacked Jose Mourinho as they sat in sixth place. Sixth place may look well, but they were closer to the relegation zone than Liverpool at the time.

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over from Mourinho, he has recorded wins over Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and finished third in the Premier League, but he has also lost three semi-finals. Mourinho took time out and replaced fan favourite Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs after Tottenham’s form slipped drastically and enough was enough. Whilst Mourinho failed to get into the Champions League places, the feeling is that he has made Spurs a much more solid unit and will be looking to continue the progress he has made despite injuries and controversy dominating Spurs in 2020. Last week Tottenham drew against Newcastle as VAR awarded a handball against Eric Dier, despite the Spurs man being less than 3 yards away from the ball when it was struck which left Jose Mourinho furious whilst Manchester United managed a win after VAR awarded them a penalty AFTER the final whistle had been blown.

THE TALE OF TWO BOARDS

The transfer window closes the day after the game on Sunday, and still Manchester United have only signed Donny Van de Beek from Ajax and have been unable to shift any of the deadweight in the squad. It has been clear to fans and pundits alike, the squad Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted at this point compared to what he has is clearly a big reason United have struggled so far this season. The Jadon Sancho saga has gone on for months and unsurprisingly, Ed Woodward has failed to agree a fee. The situation is similar to what happened with Harry Maguire, where Woodward’s incompetence led to him still signing the player, just a year down the line and an awful lot more than the selling club originally wanted. Players like Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are still being paid over £100,000 a week and Ed Woodward cannot find anyone to sign these players, yet they also will not be in the squad vs Tottenham this Sunday, as it has been clear that the United manager does not want him. Despite conceding 5 goals in two games against Palace and Brighton, it seems Woodward won’t be bringing in a partner for £80 million Harry Maguire. At very best, the club may get in their second choice left-back, Alex Telles from Porto.

The way Daniel Levy has backed Jose Mourinho is very different, and in two cases this summer Woodward and Solksjaer have missed out to Daniel Levy and Jose Mourinho. Sunday could see Sergio Reguilon make his Premier League debut after signing from Real Madrid, a player that was Manchester United’s first choice and even managed to agree personal terms with the club, but once again Woodward could not agree terms with the selling club. The second case of Jose Mourinho beating United to a player is Gareth Bale re-signing on loan. It was thought that Manchester United would sign the Welsh wizard as they were unable to secure Jadon Sancho’s signature. The double-signing from Real Madrid shows the difference between a board backing a manager’s ideas, which is something Ed Woodward does not seem to do – something Jose Mourinho knows first-hand.

Bale is injured for Sunday’s game and another player we can expect to not see is Dele Alli. He has been strongly linked with a move away from Tottenham, with many outlets suggesting the club offered Alli to Real Madrid on loan as part of the deal for Gareth Bale. Alli was not in the squad for the draw against Newcastle, and by the time the game even comes around Sunday, the former MK Dons man could have his move to, what looks like, PSG confirmed.

Despite Manchester United not setting alight the transfer window and Tottenham missing marquee signing Bale and midfield maestro Alli, the game live on Sky Sports is bound to be a cracker. After both of United’s and Tottenham’s last minute mayhem last week, it can safely be said drama won’t be never far away, and it never is when you put Manchester United and Jose Mourinho together.

BOOK NOW AND CLAIM YOUR FREE DRINK

Download the We Love Sport to find your nearest sports pub showing the live action on Saturday afternoon. You can book a table in front of a screen and redeem a free drink to welcome in the new season. Terms & Conditions apply.

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