Manchester United travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take on Spurs reeling from a 6-1 defeat by Newcastle United.
Erik ten Hag, facing the media in the build-up to the game, talked up the importance of the game and revealed that the team has a plan to deal with the threat of Harry Kane.
“It’s quite clear, his impact on the game from Spurs, we have a plan for that and home game we did very well, so for tomorrow we need a very good plan as well,” Ten Hag told reporters, as per the Manchester Evening News. “You have to defend as a team, he’s a clever player, don’t allow him to come into the situations, he can have a big impact on the game.”
While Harry Kane has traditionally been kept quiet by Manchester United, with him scoring only five goals against the club. Furthermore, Kane has scored only once against United in Spurs’ home fixtures so he will seek to set that record straight. Spurs and their captain will have extra motivation going into this fixture.
Tottenham players reimbursed their fans for the tickets who travelled to Newcastle to watch their team get battered. Since then, their interim head coach, Cristian Stellini, has been removed from his position. Tottenham favourite Ryan Mason is set to take charge of his first game this season.
Dealing with Harry Kane
In the absence of the first-choice centre-back pairing of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, Erik ten Hag could repeat the centre duo from the FA Cup semi-final. Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw faired brilliantly against Brighton’s attackers and Shaw’s physicality and pace could help Lindelof in dealing with Kane.
The key to stopping Kane is to force him to come increasingly deep instead of letting him get involved in pockets of space near the goal. In Kulusevski and Son, he has two willing runners and able finishers who can get on the end of his raking passes. Moreover, if United are not careful in the box, especially from crosses from Spurs wingbacks (Provided Ryan Mason goes back to three-at-the-back), they could be at the end of some headed goals from Kane.
Erik ten Hag has stressed that the whole team needs to defend as a unit and against a player with the calibre of Harry Kane, that becomes more important than over. While the club still goes into this game as the favourite, events happening between this game and the 6-1 drubbing of Spurs by Newcastle have added unique dynamics to the game.
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