Manchester United v Tottenham, Preview, Stats and Betting Tips, Saturday 21st April 2018
It’s a tale of two managers when Manchester United take on Tottenham in the first FA Cup semi final of the season. In one corner is Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese has won trophies all over Europe and despite major criticisms of his style of play, has already overseen League Cup and Europa League success with Man Utd.
In the other corner is Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine is highly sought after for the mixture of style and substance with which his Tottenham side play but he’s yet to win anything other than the Premier League manager of the month award. The two managers have both beaten the other in the league this season so we should be in for a fascinating battle at Wembley Stadium.
Manchester United v Tottenham Head to Head Record
- Tottenham 2-0 Man Utd – 31 January 2018, Premier League
- Man Utd 1-0 Tottenham – 28 October 2017, Premier League
- Tottenham 2-1 Man Utd – 14 May 2017, Premier League
- Man Utd 1-0 Tottenham – 11 December 2016, Premier League
- Tottenham 3-0 Man Utd – 10 April 2016, Premier League
Manchester United v Tottenham Preview
Jose Mourinho was brought into manage Old Trafford with the express aim of securing the success which has been so lacking since Alex Ferguson’s retirement. He can point to an upturn in the team’s Premier League finishes and last season’s League Cup and Europa League triumphs but football is about more than just trophies for fans.
Man Utd fans were brought up watching their team play exciting, attacking football and they are far from happy with what they’ve seen from nearly two years under Mourinho. The recent home defeat against West Brom felt like more than just a blip. It felt for some like the unsurprising result of Mourinho’s lack of ambition. Mourinho will claim that he does whatever is necessary to give his team the best chance of winning and he suggested that his players didn’t follow his plans for the West Brom game. Man Utd fans, however, will look at the team that Pochettino has built and wonder why their own manager is not as positive.
It’s not just the style of Tottenham’s play that has the biggest clubs in Europe sniffing around Pochettino. Arguably the most impressive part of the job he’s done at Spurs is changing their mentality. The idea that Spurs would always crumble under pressure has dissipated but it won’t fully vanish until they actually lift a trophy. In that regard, the FA Cup takes on even greater significance.
You could argue that this is Tottenham’s best chance of winning the famous trophy. Not only do they have the beating of the sides left in the competition but they’ve played their home games at Wembley Stadium this season so are more familiar with the national stadium than any other team. That gives their chances a real boost but they still have to prove they can perform on the biggest stage when it really matters.
Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions
Some people thought that Tottenham’s poor record at Wembley Stadium would cost them this season. Thankfully for all Spurs fans all talk of a Wembley curse is now over as they’ve lost just four times at home in all competitions. It’s not quite a home match for Tottenham on Saturday but they can still take heart from their commanding 2-0 win over Man Utd in January.
This match pits together two of England’s best defensive units. Spurs have conceded 31 league goals from 34 matches while Man Utd’s record is second only to the champions, Man City. Spurs have the edge in terms of goals scored while both teams score more goals between 76 minutes to full time than any other 15 minute spell.
Man Utd have close to a fully fit squad for Mourinho to choose from but Tottenham may have to do without Danny Rose and Harry Winks who are both working their way back to fitness.
Manchester United v Tottenham Tips
Tottenham go into Saturday’s match as the favourites with the bookies and will be disappointed not to make it to the final. Man Utd are full of big game players though and they’ll ensure Spurs do not have an easy passage. So, rather than betting on Spurs to win, back them to qualify for the final at 8/13 with BetVictor.
In what should be a tight game, under 2.5 goals is worth a play at 5/6 with Betfair while a goalless first half can be backed at 33/20 with Coral. Finally, take the 8/1 that Coral are quoting on Christian Eriksen coming up with the goods and scoring the game’s first goal.