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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Man Utd, 19.06.20

· Last season's game - Spurs 0 Man Utd 1, 13.01.19
· This season's away game - Man Utd 2 Spurs 1, 04.12.19
· This week - last year
· What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 30 2018-19

· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League Record of Man Utd v Spurs

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          27   6   8  13   32 -40  26
Away          28   3   3  22   17 -53  12
Total (Prem)  55   9  11  35   49 -93  38
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  51  20  19  12   89 -64  63
Away (Div 1)  51   9   9  33   55 -101 28
Total(Div 1) 102  29  28  45  144 -165 91
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   4   2   1   1   10 - 3   5
Away (Div 2)   4   1   2   1    3 - 3   4
Total(Div 2)   8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
Total (Prem)  55   9  11  35   49 -93  38
Total (Div 1) 102 29  28  45  144 -165 91
Total (Div 2)  8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
Grand Total   166 41  42  82  206 -264 135

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    WWWLLD
Spurs      2-1    Norwich
Spurs      2-0    Man City
A. Villa   2-3    Spurs
Chelsea    2-1    Spurs
Spurs      2-3    Wolves
Burnley    1-1    Spurs

Man Utd    -    LDWWDW

Man Utd    0-2    Burnley
Man Utd    0-0    Wolves
Chelsea    0-2    Man Utd
Man Utd    3-0    Watford
Everton    1-1    Man Utd
Man Utd    2-0    Man City

Pos          P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
5. Man Utd  29 12  9  8  44-30  14   45
8. Spurs    29 11  8 10  47-40   7   41

It's a post lockdown showdown!

Manchester United are coming to town! Their last visit to White Hart lane was the emotional “Finale” on 14th May 2017. Spurs won that game 2-1. Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane scored our goals. Kane was the last Spurs player to score at our old home, but it was Wayne Rooney who scored the last goal at The Lane. This was also the last of Rooney’s 183 Premier League goals for United before his return to Everton.

The “Finale” was played in front of a full house and graced by many legends. Tomorrow's game (which was originally scheduled for 15th March) has been delayed by the Coronavirus Lockdown regulations and now has to be played in an empty stadium. Despite that, prediction and fantasy leagues are back in action and football tipsters can study form and play their various online games again. This game is a post lockdown showdown!

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

Like all Premier League clubs, Spurs have taken measures to try and create some sort of home environment for their players with flags and banners on display, a playlist of crowd chants, and perhaps some sound effects to greet home goals. Let’s hope we see some! Last night, we almost saw three goal-less halves until Arsenal's David Luiz helped Manchester City take the lead in first half added time. Substitute David Luiz's misfortune was an entertainment in itself as he gifted City's second goal through a penalty offence for which he was also sent off!

The enforced absence of football has allowed several key players to recover from injury such as Harry Kane, Son Heung-min (who has also served a mandatory period of National Service at home in South Korea), Steven Bergwijn, Tanguy Ndombele, Moussa Sissoko, and Ben Davies. A few individuals (on one occasion including head coach Jose Mourinho) breached the lockdown rules. Other players such as Man City’s Kyle Walker and Villa’s Jack Grealish were caught out in more embarrassing circumstances although our own Serge Aurier treated himself to a non-socially distanced haircut a few weeks ago. At least our other infringements related to players seeking to gain fitness.

United casualties too have been able to recover from injury. The most important of these could be Marcus Rashford, who remains United’s top scorer so far this season. Rashford has won the hearts of countless people this week with his successful campaign to persuade the government to extend its free school meals scheme for needy children during the summer holidays. We might even see Paul Pogba in action for the first time since Christmas, and he might be seen in tandem with January signing Bruno Fernandes, who has been very influential for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, scoring three goals (two from the penalty spot) and making several more in the 9 games he has so far played for the “Red Devils”.

Bruno Fernandes was signed from Sporting Lisbon. Bruno is a 25-year-old Portuguese International midfielder, who had scored 39 league goals in 83 appearances for Sporting. He was signed for £47 million, but with add-ons the fee could rise to £67.7 million. United also signed former Watford striker Odion Ighalo on loan from China. Ighalo's loan was due to expire at the end of May but has been extended to next January.

Both teams have arranged and played 11-a-side friendlies last weekend and have been able to train (under lockdown-specified conditions) for several weeks now, but these games will be a great test of true match fitness.

United were scheduled to host Stoke City at their training ground last Tuesday for a friendly match, but it had to be called off at the last minute because Stoke manager Michael O'Neill had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. United subsequently arranged not one, but two friendly games against West Brom which were played last Friday. Spurs played Norwich on Friday but had to call off a planned meeting with Reading who had players testing positive for the coronavirus.

In February, Manchester United commemorated the 62nd anniversary of the Munich air disaster which claimed the lives of 23 people including 8 Manchester United players. On February 17th we learnt of the passing of one of the surviving players - goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who died aged 87. Harry not only survived the crash but was a hero as he pulled a number of people to safety. Those people included Bobby Charlton and Jackie Blanchflower (brother of our own Danny). Whilst I think it is well known that United reached the FA Cup Final in 1958 (and lost to Bolton), I admit that I did not realise that the "Red Devils" also competed in a European Cup semi-final against AC Milan. They beat Milan 2-1 at home, but lost the away leg 4-0.

Gregg insisted he did not want to be remembered for actions he made on the "spur of the moment". Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, Gregg played 247 games for United between December 1957 and September 1966. Gregg's first game against Tottenham was at White Hart Lane in April 1958 when he was beaten by a Tommy Harmer penalty. His last game for United against Tottenham was in United's 5-1 home win in December 1965, although he had missed the game at White Hart Lane when the score was also 5-1, this time to Spurs. That game included a magical Jimmy Greaves goal which was caught by TV cameras and recently featured on the BT Sports documentary "Greavsie".

Harry Gregg was a predecessor of our own Pat Jennings as Northern Ireland's goalkeeper. Gregg's last game for his country was an 8-3 defeat to England in which Greaves scored 4 goals.

Another United stalwart died on June 8th. Left back Tony Dunne won two league titles, an FA Cup and the 1968 European Cup with United. He was also in the United team which beat Spurs 5-1 at Old Trafford in 1965.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be supported on the away bench by two former Spurs players. Michael Carrick is very well known of course, having come to Spurs from West Ham in 2004. Carrick played in 63 league games for Spurs, scoring two goals but ended his playing career with Manchester United playing 316 Premier League games over 12 seasons, scoring 17 games. Carrick won nothing with either West Ham or Spurs but won every domestic honour plus European and World Club medals in those last 12 seasons with Manchester United. The other former Spurs player in Solskjaer’s coaching team is Kieran McKenna. Kieran never made a first team appearance for Spurs but played plenty of games for our youth and reserve teams. His playing career ended due to injury, and he took up coaching, working his way up to look after our under 18 side before a move to Old Trafford.

Both teams are chasing a coveted Champions League slot. After last night’s drawn game at Villa Park Sheffield United are three points above Spurs who would go sixth on goal difference with a win, and would draw to within a point of Man Utd. That's a big ask though as we enter unknown territory regarding form and fitness. I'll stick my neck out and predict a 2-1 win for Spurs, with Harry Kane to score.

Dele Alli was last week punished for his inappropriate social media post in February related to Covid-19. He will serve a one-match ban, and cannot play in this game. We also learnt this week that Japhet Tanganga has suffered a stress fracture in his back and will also miss this game. Tanganga may yet be able to play a part before the end of this season.

For the remainder of the 2019/20 season up to five substitutes may be used and team benches will increase to 9 players. Substitutions can be made on no more than three occasions during the game.

The designated referee for this original fixture was Michael Oliver, but he took charge of last night's Villa v Sheffield United game. Our match referee will now be Jonathan Moss, who first took charge of a Spurs game in September, 2011. Mr. Moss has now officiated in the middle for 28 Spurs games, and was actually in charge of our last league game at Burnley on 7th March.

Did you know? - In 1932, Spurs beat Manchester United in two consecutive home games (different seasons, of course) and the aggregate score was 10-2! Both games were in the old Division Two. On 23rd January, 1932, the score was 4-1, with goals by George Hunt, Taffy O'Callaghan, and Willie Davies (2). Then on 10th September we won 6-1. Both George Hunt and Willie Evans scored twice. one of Evans' goals was from the penalty spot. Jimmy Brain and O'Callaghan scored our other goals. That 6-1 score remains the biggest winning margin for either side in our meetings.

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