This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Tottenham Hotspur face Manchester United on Wednesday evening in a game that will be instructive of Jose Mourinho’s reign at the club.
The Portuguese managed United between 2016 and 2018, winning the Carabao Cup and the Europa League at Old Trafford.
However, he left under a cloud, having clashed with midfielder Paul Pogba and was sacked with the club in sixth in the Premier League, closer to the relegation zone than the league leaders Liverpool.
BBC Sport claimed that United “identified a catalogue of his failings” leading to his sacking and this is his first chance at revenge with his new employers.
Spurs have won their first three games under his management, beating West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League and Olympiacos in the Champions League, but this is perhaps their first real test.
Here’s how Football FanCast thinks Spurs should line up at Old Trafford.
Paulo Gazzaniga is the No.1 all the while Hugo Lloris is injured.
Serge Aurier has been in excellent form at right-back, providing assists against both West Ham and Olympiacos and should keep his place.
In central defence, Toby Alderweireld laid on an assist for Dele Alli against the Cherries, while Jan Vertonghen made a late goal-saving tackle in stoppage time. It makes sense to keep the pair together, even though the latter played at left-back against Bournemouth.
At left-back, with Ben Davies injured, one feels that Danny Rose will be trusted because he can add a greater degree of width to Vertonghen. The other option is Ryan Sessegnon but this match is perhaps too big for his first Premier League start.
In midfield, Tanguy Ndombele enjoyed an all-action performance versus Bournemouth and his dynamic running and ball retention skills mean he deserves to keep his place.
While Eric Dier has started every Mourinho game thus far, he has yet to make a proper impression and so the restoration of Harry Winks to the starting XI can add both accuracy and assiduous running to the midfield.
Further forward, Lucas Moura has history against United – scoring twice against them at Old Trafford last season – and his pace will be a threat on the break, even if it means benching Moussa Sissoko after his goal at the weekend, likewise Son Heung-min on the left.
The last two spots pick themselves, with Alli in behind Harry Kane; Alli has scored three in three under Mourinho and Kane is the current captain.
Meanwhile, one Spurs ace has been hailed by his international manager.