Tottenham Hotspur head into Wednesday night’s Premier League meeting with Manchester United knowing that a win against the Red Devils would see them take a huge step towards securing a top-four finish in the league come the end of the season, as a victory at Old Trafford would move Antonio Conte’s side ten points clear of their fifth-placed opponents.
However, with the north London side facing something of an injury crisis in attack – with Richarlison being ruled out of the clash with a calf injury and Dejan Kulusevski having a 25% chance of being fit to face United – as well as Erik ten Hag’s side being on an impressive run of form – losing just once in their last six outings – three points will not be easy to come by this evening.
Despite the likely absence of both Richarlison and Kulusevski this evening, with Conte hinting in his pre-match comments that he would rather stick with a 3-4-3 formation rather than revert to a 3-5-2, we predict the Italian will make two changes to the side that lined up against the Toffees last time out.
The first of these changes comes in the back three, with the £80k-per-week Ben Davies – who has started the majority of Tottenham’s league fixtures this term – dropping out for Clement Lenglet, who is handed just his fourth league start since his summer move from Barcelona, while Eric Dier and Cristian Romero retain their starting berths in the backline.
The second change comes at wing-back, with the “surprise of the season” – in the words of Seb Jenkins – Ryan Sessegnon coming in on the left, while Matt Doherty – after an impressive showing against Everton – keeps his place on the right.
In the middle of the park, Conte’s now favoured duo of Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are once again given the nod, while there is a new face alongside Son Heung-min and Harry Kane in Spurs’ attacking trio.
That sees Ivan Perisic – who has scored 76 goals and registered 83 assists over 349 appearances from the flank – being unleashed on the left-wing.