Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United Betting Preview
Back Spurs to all but end United’s top-four hopes with win
The Lily Whites are guaranteed a second-place finish, their highest in Premier League history, but there’s still a sense of ‘what could have been’ in the white half of North London. At one stage it looked like Spurs were going to push Chelsea right down to the wire, but a 1-0 defeat to West Ham last week meant that Chelsea could secure the title away at West Brom last night, and they did.
Their first league defeat in ten matches couldn’t have come at a worse time, but they’ll be determined to add to their record points tally this weekend, which is currently five points more than their best-ever total (72) with three games to go. Poccetino’s men are unbeaten in 23 domestic home matches this season, winning 16 of their 18 league games at White Hart Lane. They’ve also got the best defensive record in the league, conceding only 23 goals to this point. Unbeaten against the other four top-five teams, Spurs will head into this game as favourites, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them take all three points on Sunday.
Mourinho’s men suffered their first league defeat since October when Arsenal came away 2-0 winners at the Emirates last weekend. United didn’t look interested, and clearly had their minds focused on their Europa League campaign. A 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo on Thursday secured their place in the final of the competition, where a victory would ensure Champions League football next season – not only that, but it would guarantee entering at the group stage, whereas finishing fourth in the league wouldn’t. I wouldn’t expect a full-strength United side on Sunday.
Their record against top teams this season doesn’t make for good reading anyway. Their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal means they have failed to score in any of their away matches against top-six sides, the worst record of any side in the league. However, they have been one of the hardest teams to break down this campaign, and they have the joint fewest defeats in the league, four, along with Spurs, and prior to last weekend, United had only conceded six goals in their last 13 games in all competitions. If Manchester City and Liverpool both win this weekend it will be very difficult for them to finish in the top four, but dropping points on Sunday would make it almost impossible.
United have only lost one of their last five meetings with Spurs, however they haven’t won at the Lane in their last four attempts. With no away goals in their last two it’s hard to fancy their chances, especially when considering their awful goalscoring record against top-six teams this season, but Tottenham’s victory in this fixture last campaign was their first in the Premier League since 2001, so it’s far from a foregone conclusion.
To score – Harry Kane 10/11
Despite his injury problems this season, Harry Kane is only three goals behind current Premier League top scorer Romelu Lukaku with three games to go. The Englishman is on 21 goals in his 27 league appearances this season. Across all competitions he’s averaged a goal every 107 minutes, and after scoring 14 goals in his last 14 league starts it seems a good bet backing him to score in this one. He also has 10 goals in his last six home starts, however he’s never found the net against Manchester United. You can back him to score at any time on Sunday at 10/11.
Both teams to score – No 19/20
One of the two sides have kept a clean sheet in all of the last five meetings. The last time the two met at White Hart Lane Spurs came away 3-0 victors, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar result this weekend. You can back odds of 19/20 for at least one side to fail to score.
Match odds – Tottenham 4/5
It will be a special day for everyone associated with Tottenham Hotspur as they play out their final game at White Hart Lane. They’ll want to bow out with a win, and I can’t see them coming away with anything other than three points. Mourinho will be out to spoil their party, but he seems adamant on prioritising the Europa League final and may well set up for a draw. United played West Ham in their final game at the Boleyn Ground last season, and lost 3-2, so I’m backing Spurs to win at 4/5. The draw is priced at 11/4, or you can back a Manchester United win at 4/1.
Writer’s Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Manchester United
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.