The new season is upon us, and the first high voltage match is just knocking on the door. Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur is going to get live at Old Trafford within the next twenty four hours. Before the Manchester United first EPL encounter takes place, let us present you, the Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur match preview, Manchester United vs Tottenham strategy analysis and expected starting line-up.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur match preview

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur match preview

Manchester United in pre-season matches

Well, with the latest changes in the team, Manchester United is now having a handful of ball players in the team. The team is well furnished in the mid-field but has lacked defensive performance. In their first match against Club America Manchester United defeated their opponent with a 1-0 score line, followed by two consecutive 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes and F.C Barcelona. In their last match they lost to Paris Saint Germain by a 2-0.
Louis Van Gaal introduced all the young players along with the regulars and the new signings in these matches. The team looked quite in-shape though few chance factors taken by PSG players did not let Manchester United win the International Champions Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur in preseason matches

Spurs had an up and down run in their preseason matches. In one hand they had a comfortable win over Club Malaysia and Sydney FC with a 2-1 and 1-0 score line but in other hand they fall to MLS All Stars with a 1-2 defeat. The team faced another loss against Real Madrid in the Audi Cup, where the Spanish giant won a 2-0. But the last friendly Tottenham had been against A.C Milan where they again were 2-0 victorious.

Manchester United strategy against Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester Untied boss Louis Van Gaal may lay a new formation this time as having two holding mid-fielders down at defence will provide him more options. The formation this time would be 4-2-3-1 with the central defence covered by the holding mid-fielders.

David De Gea will start under the bar, with Blind and Jones in the central defence, while Smalling can also be an option. In the preseason matches we have witnessed Blind playing in central defence and it is expected the same is going to continue in the first match of Manchester United. Two full-backs are definitely going to be Luke Shaw in left and Matteo Darmian in right. Shaw is in tremendous form and willing to repay the £31million United invested on bringing him home. To add to the matter we must not forget LVG’s current status on the English full-back stating; this season

“Shall be the season of Luke Shaw”.

On the other hand the new-signed Matteo Darmian is also going to overlap enough from the right. With two holding mid-fielders covering the central defence, the fullbacks are expected to bring the fiercest outcome in their offensive role down both flanks.

The holding mid-fielders are going to be any two of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick. Our prediction is the starting line-up won’t have Bastian Schweinsteiger, but he may join as a substitution. The pass-accuracy of these three players is mesmerizing as Carrick had a 89.6% (7th in EPL) last year, and Schneiderlin had 89.3% (13th in EPL). Bastian Schweinsteiger also had a 87.7% passing accuracy in the last year making him the 10th in the last year’s list of Bundesliga. Constructive and quality build up along with effective ball-distribution would be expected from the deep-midfield.

Manchester United Formation and Strategy

Ashley Young and Juan Mata are going to take cover from both wings like last year. Young had a surprising 1.9 accurate crosses per 90 minutes last year where Mata had 0.9 crosses per 90 minutes. So the deal is again going to be the same like last years. While Young will try to deliver crosses along with Shaw, Mata would like to cut in-side down the middle with Darmian’s help in right flank.

In the deep-hole, the supporting striker role, we may see Memphis Depay. The player had an awesome 22 goals season with 5 assists in the last season of his for Eredivisie. The player would be tested in his new role, not to mention the Dutch footballers are quiet habituated in switching positions. The offensive outcome of this player can be maximized in this role, keeping in mind his long rangers and ability to turn the dead ball situations count.


In upfront United will be lacking strikers as the departure of RVP and Falcao has not yet been settled with any new striker. So, the only option upfront will be Wayne Rooney, the skipper himself. The player had scored 12 goals last season playing in different positions of mid-filed and upfront, this year he is the man LVG is counting on. United skipper looked very fit and fresh in the preseason games. Let us see how much more can he go on.

Last season Manchester United had the highest ball-position with a commanding 62.3%. This formula does not seem to get changed much, as the no. of ball players have increased in numbers. Constructive attack with players taking positions upfront is expected to be a regular thing this year.

The X-factors of Manchester United

Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini

Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini can join the match as a substitute this season, in order to switch the formation. If the match demands LVG to be more attacking, Herrera or Fellaini can join up Depay in the attacking mid-field. With Young, Depay, Shaw and Darmian crossing, Feallaini can deliver some harm to opponents defence.Fellaini

Andreas Pereira and James Wilson

These two 19 years old young-stars may also join the substitute bench. Pereira showed some beautiful display in the pre-season matches and Wilson has also proved his talent. So, it won’t be surprising if these two replace young and Rooney at any point of the game.

Tottenham Hotspur strategy against Manchester United

Spurs also would opt for a 4-2-3-1. Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to defend in numbers, opting for counter attack as their only chance. The biggest thing about Tottenham is Harry Kane. The striker is in tremendous form since the last season. Even in this year’s preseason matches he has scored numbers of goals.

Lloris is back under the net, which only means Vrom will have to go back to the bench. In deep defence Vertonghen and Alderweireld will hav to take care of the long balls, through balls and the crosses. Preventing the supply line get to Rooney will not only make Rooney come down, but also, LVG may have to look for a new formation.

Helping the defence there would be Bentaleb and Dier in the defensive mid-filed. Mason can join later while opting for a help in counter-attacks.Tottenham Hotspur Formation and Strategy

Image Source: Spursstatman

Rose and Walker are the assured full-backs of Spurs, though its very unlikely if they get much chances to move forward. Now the counterattacks should be taken care by these fullbacks in order to supply long balls for Eriksen and Kane in the striking zone.

In front of Dier and Bentaleb we will find Eriksen as a withdrawal forward. Eriksen will be the one to supply the balls to in-position striker and wingers and in other cases he will have to provide support ot kane in Manchester’s penetrative zone. Tottenham counterattacks are going to rely on Eriksen a lot, this season.

Chadli and Lamela will operate from both the wings. Chadli had a good season last year netting 11 goals and Lamela is also in a very good shape. The very common move of Mason or Bentaleb running down the middle (sometimes dummy) can be effective by the crosses provided by these two wingers.Kane

Upfront there will be Harry Kane, a striker to be taken care of. The poacher had been netting half-chances for a long period and there would be no wonder if LVG assigns any of his holding mid-fielders to provide zonal marking for him with the defenders.

The X-factors of Tottenham Hotspur

Toby Alderweireld and Ryan Mason

Toby Alderweireld has recently joined the Spurs squad from Southampton (where he was on-loan from Atletico Madrid). The 26 years old central defender can also be placed in full-back positions. The player is a gem down at defence. Spurs can introduce him in the very first match.

Ryan Mason is one of the most hardworking and mid-fielders of EPL. The player has a work-rate of a machine. He can be replacing Dier at any point of the game and with his ability of taking work-load; LVG must have some caution for him.


Match: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Day: 8th August, 2015

Stadium: Old Trafford

Kick Off: 12.45 hours (Local Time), 17.15 hours (IST)


Expected Starting line up of Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Blind, Darmian, Shaw; Carrick, Schneiderlin, Young, Mata, Depay; Rooney

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Rose, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Walker; Bentaleb, Dier, Chadli, Lamela, Eriksen; Kane

Final Words

Last year Manchester lost their first EPL match after 1972-73, against Swansea City. This year LVG surely won’t let that happen at any cost. The team is well prepared and out of any injury. The very first win against Spurs will also deliver United the kick-start to the momentum they need to join the title chase.

Spurs can win their opening match for three consecutive times. The team has been in top six for the sixth season and this year to go beyond, an away win against United will come inspiring.

However, let’s wait the blood to rush from the kick-off. Till then if you have liked our Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur match preview, do let us know, in the comments section.