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The odds for Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United have been taken from the Unibet sportsbook. Sign up for a $100 bonus bet.
For a brief time, Tottenham Hotspur fans had hope. Last week was always going to be crucial in determining Harry Kane’s future, and at one point reports suggested he was leaning towards staying in north London.
Had he done so, Kane would surely have departed on a free transfer in 2024. But his presence in the team for one more season would make Tottenham much more competitive as they take their first steps under the tutelage of new manager Ange Postecoglou.
In the end, though, Kane decided to twist rather than stick. His move to Bayern Munich was confirmed last weekend, as England’s captain decided to join one of the biggest clubs in Europe. He is a loss to the Premier League and an even bigger one to Tottenham.
It will take a while for the club to get used to life after Kane, their all-time leading goalscorer who has been virtually ever-present since the 2014/15 campaign. But there were some early signs of positivity in the 2-2 draw with Brentford last weekend.
Spurs did not play well for the entire 90 minutes, but they did have some bright spells during the match. It will take a few weeks or even months until the squad is completely in tune with Postecoglou’s methods, but it is clear that the Australian has the full backing of the players and supporters.
The loss of Kane and the arrival of yet another new head coach means this will be a season of transition for Tottenham. A top-four finish would be a fantastic outcome, but it is unlikely given the amount of competition for Champions League qualification. The leading objective for now is to improve the culture at the club, and to foster a sense of togetherness within the group.
Manchester United got the new season off to a winning start as Raphael Varane’s header brought them a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. But there are no two ways about this: United were extremely fortunate.
Wolves were the better team on Monday. They registered a total of 23 shots, more than any other visiting team in the history of the Premier League. They were also denied what looked like a clear-cut penalty towards the end of the match.
Only a bad refereeing decision and Wolves’ wastefulness in front of the goal ensured United collected all three points. Despite the result, their performance will have concerned Erik ten Hag, whose team are expected to get closer to the Premier League title this term.
United were far too open in midfield. Casemiro was repeatedly left isolated by Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount, who tended to take up advanced positions. Wolves repeatedly tore through United’s out-of-possession structure in phases of transition.
The Red Devils have had a productive summer, improving their squad with the acquisitions of Mount, Andre Onana, and Rasmus Hojlund. But there are two key questions. Will United score enough goals? And can they improve their away form in big games like this one?
The Red Devils had a pitiful record against the top nine on the road last term. Out of a possible 24 points, they collected just one. That was fewer than every other team in the division - even the relegated trio of Leicester City, Leeds United, and Southampton.
United were much more reliable at home and their victory over Wolves, however fortunate, was a continuation of that. But they will not be able to challenge for the title unless they improve significantly at opposition stadiums.
The best online sportsbooks have Manchester United down as narrow favorites for this match. They finished a few places higher in the table than Tottenham last term, and their upcoming opponents have lost their star man. The price, therefore, makes sense.
However, the value lies in backing Tottenham to come out on top. Postecoglou has re-energized both the team and the club. The fans will be right behind their side on Saturday, and home advantage could play a role in deciding the outcome.
That is particularly true when you consider how poor United were in the big games away from home in 2022/23. Records as bad as theirs can be self-fulfilling. If United were to fall behind on Saturday, would they really have the belief that they can come back to win?
Spurs had some bright moments against Brentford and, although they are obviously an inferior side without Kane, their squad still contains quality. James Maddison impressed last time out and he could be influential here, especially if United go with the same midfield line-up.
Do not overlook the relatively long odds on a Tottenham win. This could be a disappointing match for Manchester United.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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