Right then. Five games, five wins ... and now, for the first, time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United take on a team above them in the table.
Quite some way above them, too: Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side are 10 points ahead of United, have scored three more goals, and conceded 11 fewer. Also they haven’t drawn a league game all season. Admirable efficiency, in the age of three points for a win.
Anyway, they’re pretty decent, and several steps above the rest of Solskjaer’s opponents so far. To this end, United’s manager and coaching staff have reportedly been scheming while away in Dubai, and while we’re unlikely to see a Mourinho-esque fire blanket thrown over the whole occasion, United are definitely going to have to box clever.
And it’s this, as much as the identities of the managers involved, that give this game the air of an audition. We’ve seen that Solskjaer has the knack of flipping frowns upside down; this is a chance to see what else he can bring. Obviously managerial decisions are only ever part of a game’s outcome — sometimes a small part — but if United do put in a decent showing here, then OGS will be perfectly entitled to claim that thees’s more to him than just decluttering.
On the other hand, if Spurs take United to pieces, then those Pochettino rumours are only going to get louder. And louder. And LOUDER, until they swallow the world whole.
Premier League schedule
A civilised and breezy 16.30pm in London, which .
Premier League TV channel
Those in the UK can catch the action on Sky Sports Premier League or Sky Sports Main Event; in the USA you’ll need NBCSN or Telemundo. Everyone else, head on over to livesoccertv to find out your options.
Premier League streaming
Sky’s streaming service in the UK; NBC’s in the USA.
So, prediction time. Let’s go with ...
David de Gea; Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba; Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.
Lineups: A perfect 11. Oooooh yeah.
Your #MUFC team to face Spurs— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 13, 2019