Penalty to Man Utd!
An early United raid and Sanchez clumsily brings down Martial as he zips in from the left
United get us underway, kicking towards the east stand, after the customary knee-take.
Jose Mourinho talks, on a very important matter: He genuinely though “Gary” was short for “Gareth” and that was why he addressed the England manager Southgate thus the other day. “I apologised to him and I want to make that public.” Glad that’s cleared up.
Meanwhile, Stephen Carr (presumably not the former Spurs full-back) emails to say: “I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that this afternoon’s game is going to be the complete and utter opposite of Leeds – City.”
A bit of pre-match chatter, from Solskjær and Rashford: “We have to break them down cleverly enough,” says Solskjær, “and they’ve got Son back who’s one of the best players in the league at running in behind.” As for Cavani: “I can’t say anything before a deal is done, my mind is on the game
Rashford says United need to take more risks, and it’s important to go into the international break in good spirits with a win behind them.
In the Sky studio, G-Nev and Patrice Evra maintain the critical tune by querying the planning process – or lack of – in moving for Cavani, and the omission of Van de Beek for Pogba.
Back on a nostalgia tip, here’s some wise counsel from one of our regulars:
Now you’re talking. In fact, I’m still three short to complete España 82 if someone could help a brother out.
A perhaps tone-setting first email. “Still no league start for van de Beek…” harrumphs Robert Lin. “Is Ole actively trying to get sacked?”
This level of pre-match discontent can only mean one thing: a reverse-jinx and the Reds win at a canter.
In these dystopian, digital football-watching times, you’re going to want a dose of English football’s past at its most eccentric. In which case, tuck right into this gallery:
Arsenal have beaten Sheffield United 2-1, braving a late Blades’ fightback after a fine David McGoldrick goal, while Fulham are still pointless after losing 0-1 at Wolves.
And an eye-catching scoreline involving Fulham’s west London rivals Brentford too, the Bees tossing away a 2-0 lead at home to Preston to go down 2-4.
Arsenal’s women have won too, 3-1 against Bristol City.
Son is back for Spurs, Bailly in for Lindelöf for the hosts
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial. Subs: Lindelöf, Mata, Lingard, Fred, Henderson, Can de Beek, McTominay
Tottenham: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Sissoko, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lamela, Kane, Son. Subs: Doherty, Alderweireld, Winks, Hart, Alli, Lucas Moura, Davies.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Pre-match reading: Our resident tactics guru Jonathan Wilson runs a critical eye over Man Utd’s current state here:
While Eric Dier talks h*ndball and more, here:
Afternoon everyone. What to make of this one then? Two heavyweight-ish sides about which it’s hard to divine whether they’re very good this season. Manchester United’s unconvincing early performances and seemingly confused transfer window have done little to muffle the mumblings of those who wonder whether the club have got any sort of plan. The move to sign Edinson Cavani, formidable forward though he is and has been, has more than a whiff of the Zlatan or Larsson cameos at Old Trafford. And the Bruno Fernandes/Mason Greenwood love-in period of high summer suddenly seems very distant.
José Mourinho meanwhile returns to Old Trafford boasting Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon as recent arrivals. Bale is unlikely to figure today but Reguilon should, and has already shown his promise. Tottenham have had a curious season so far, schooled by Everton first off before outplaying Southampton and Newcastle only to be denied victory against the latter by that handball kerfuffle about which all opinions have now been officially exhausted and are thus prohibited. And they’ve reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup without winning a game over 90 minutes, as well as the Europa League group stage. Busy, busy, busy.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side won this fixture last season, 2-1, condemning Mourinho to his first loss as Spurs manager before United somehow scrambled a draw from a sub-par performance at an empty Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June.
It’ll be an intriguing one. Don’t go anywhere. Kick off 4.30pm BST.
at 10.27am EDT