Manchester United are back. And what a better way to celebrate it, than Tottenham at the Theatre of Dreams. Louis van Gaal takes control of the first game of the season, with a whole host of new faces in action, including Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
This week’s overwhelming topic seems to be the departure of Angel Di Maria and his replacement, rather than the start of the season and the first big test for Van Gaal and his squad. Again it seems there are some finishing touches to be added to the team.
David de Gea seems to be heading towards Real Madrid after a summer of “will he stay or go”. The deficiency of available centre-backs in the market has led to Blind being transformed into such – which could be quite a concern for some.
Wayne Rooney is the only senior striker, with a big question mark of whether Chicharito or Wilson could be viable replacements. Despite all this, however “The Iron Tulip” seems as confident as ever. Positive performances in the Summer Tour and Depay’s attitude, as well as Rooney’s pledge to lead the lines to a title charge, could be a good basis to be built on.
Tottenham on the other hand finished a rather short pre-season only days ago. They played only three games, one in America and two in the Audi Cup on 4th and 5th of August. With less than spectacular summer, Pochettino has strengthened where needed with centre-backs Alderweireld and Wimmer coming in.
Kieran Trippier was also signed to give cover for Kyle Walker on the right flank. They have had no major transfer sagas during the summer, with the main goal being the trimming of the squad – Capoue, Stambouli, Kaboul and Paulinho all left. Spurs’ transfer business is however yet to be over – with second striker to compliment Harry Kane the target.
There are no major injuries for United. However Schweinsteiger is not expected to start as he has not reached full fitness – The same goes for Chicharito and Rojo. David de Gea’s starting place is also under threat with Louis van Gaal “issuing” an order for him to be sold. Marouane Fellaini is banned.
Ryan Mason, Hugo Lloris, Roberto Soldado and Andros Townsend are all doubtful. The French shot-stopper returned to training only this week after a fractured wrist and should not be expected to start.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) Romero- Darmian,Smalling,Blind,Shaw-Schneiderlin,Carrick-Mata,Depay,Young-Rooney
Tottenham(4-2-3-1 )Vorm– Walker,Alderweireld,Vertonghen,Rose- Bentaleb,Mason Dembele,Chadli,Eriksen- Kane
Last Meeting: Manchester United:Tottenham 3:0
It was one of the finest displays of the season in the hardest of moments. Fellani, Carrick and Rooney’s goals were reminiscent of days of old under the Manchester sky, when United cruised past their opponents with the help of the name and place alone.
Louis Van Gaal certainly wants to reinstall the fear and restlessness into teams when they visit the Theatre of Dreams. What better way to do so then a convincing victory on the first day of the season against one of the rivals?
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