As the Premier League returns, so too does the race for a European football place as Tottenham Hotspur welcome Manchester United to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday evening.
At the slightly unconventional time of 20:15, Spurs will host the Red Devils as both sides look to make a late push for a spot in next season's Champions League.
The game will see both sides take to the field since the beginning of March, before the temporary postponement of the season due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In their last game before lockdown Spurs struggled against Burnley and needed a Dele Alli penalty to earn a draw against the Clarets, meanwhile, Man Utd overcame strong rivals Manchester City in an encouraging 2-0 win thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay.
The two clubs were in differing form prior to the lockdown, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side unbeaten in their last five Premier League games whilst Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are without a win in their previous three.
Currently sitting 8th in the table, a defeat for Spurs would see them slip further away from the chasing pack hunting down a place in the top four, and against a competitor in that race means this is a game that Mourinho cannot afford to
For Manchester United, a win could see them move into 4th until at least Chelsea face Aston Villa on Sunday, however, defeat for Solskjaer’s side leaves the door wide open for Wolves and Sheffield United to pounce.
The earlier meeting between these two sides saw Manchester United run out as 2-1 winners thanks to a brace from Marcus Rashford, both goals scored either side of fellow countryman Dele Alli’s strike.
Spurs could welcome back a number of their long-term injuries including top scorer Harry Kane and winger Son Heung Min. They could also welcome back goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after he recovered from a dislocated elbow.
Mourinho will be without midfielder Dele Alli who was handed a one-game suspension due to an offensive social media post.
Despite being fully fit, record signing Paul Pogba is set to be benched for the opening game amid fresh rumours linking him to Real Madrid.
No other fresh injury concerns for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
I believe that the pace in attack that Manchester United possess as well as the influential Bruno Fernandes will prove too much for the Spurs’ defence which has been fragile this season. For me, it would take something quite special from Jose to overcome a much-improved Man Utd side, but maybe that’s why he’s called the special one.
Match preview written by Dan Chenery.