Manchester United (+137) vs Tottenham (+240), Draw (+250)
Manchester United (6-2-1, 20 points) host Tottenham (6-2-1, 20 points) at Old Trafford this Saturday, October 28th, for a match that will decide who sits in second-place after ten fixtures.
Man U and Spurs are level on points after nine games, five points back of league-leading Manchester City. This weekend, City faces lowly West Brom, who are winless in their last seven league games, so we can safely assume they’ll be picking up three easy points. Making up eight points against the current Man City squad would require a miracle, so this is a crucial game for both United and Tottenham.
Tottenham are currently on a four-match win streak in the EPL and recently drew against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu in Champions League play. They’re in fine form at the moment and manager Mauricio Pochettino deserves all the praise he’s been given. They ran through Liverpool last weekend, demolishing them 4-1, and are currently leading a stacked Champions League group.
Meanwhile, Manchester United suffered a humiliating 2-1 loss to Huddersfield last weekend, losing to the former Championship club for the first time in 65 years. Prior to that, they forced a 0-0 stalemate against Liverpool at Old Trafford. Instead of looking to exploit the atrocious Liverpool defense, Jose Mourinho cynically parked the bus and made no attempt to push forward. Romelu Lukaku had to wait until the 17th minute before even touching the ball.
If one point is all Mourinho wanted, then mission accomplished. But the same strategy won’t work as well against Tottenham. If he allows Spurs to dominate possession, they’ll make him pay for it. Harry Kane is clinical in front of goal, and he’s been receiving spectacular support from Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.
Mourinho has been criticised for not playing the classic “United Way,” though all is forgiven as long as he’s getting results. Now that Man U are playing both boring and losing football, is it time for the club to turn against the infamous manager?
A win against Tottenham will drown out all the criticism. Three points will keep United on Man City’s tail and establish a lead against the other title contenders. That’s a lot to ask for, though. I can’t remember a time when Tottenham have looked this good and they’re arguably better when they play away, posting a 4-0 away record so far this season. They’re in great standing to make it 5-0 against United this weekend and are the better value at +240.
Pick: Tottenham (+240)