Onto their last head coach of the season (this one is going to last until the end of May, promise, insists Daniel Levy), Tottenham desperately need to start picking up points in the coming days but face two extremely tricky tests. Before they face Liverpool on Sunday they must welcome Manchester United to north London with an atmosphere that is likely to be hostile in the extreme towards Spurs’ owners and perhaps even their players. Such is the cost of a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Newcastle that ended any lingering hope of a top four finish.
United look to have that in the bag, five points clear of Aston Villa and one more ahead of Tottenham but with three games in hand over the former and two the latter. Erik ten Hag’s side can probably focus on June’s FA Cup final against Manchester City but winning away to Spurs would be nothing if not a statement of intent for next season. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
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- Date: Thursday, April 26 | Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
- Live stream: Peacock Premium
- Odds: Tottenham +170; Draw +260; Manchester United +140 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
Tottenham: Few performances can have had quite the disastrous impact that Spurs’ did in the first 20 minutes at St. James’ Park, conceding five goals to a rampant Newcastle side who have likely killed off any feint hope that Tottenham might have had of a top-four finish. Four games into a tenure that was supposed to at least reach the end of the season, Cristian Stellini was sacked, Ryan Mason thrust into a major game for the second time in the last three seasons. Tottenham players were so embarrassed that they felt compelled to pay back the ticket price of the 3,000 fans who had made the trip to Newcastle.
Suddenly Tottenham’s season could unravel to such an extent that they would miss out on Europe entirely. If they lose on Thursday and the pair of Liverpool and Brighton make up the points gap in their games in hand then Spurs will collapse to eighth, missing out on Europe for just the second time in the last 17 years. As was the case when he took over in 2021 just before the EFL Cup final, Mason enters the frying pan at its highest temperature.
Manchester United: Injuries are starting to bite across the field for United, who fear that Raphael Varane may join Lisandro Martinez on the sidelines for the remainder of the season. Most concerningly they might lose another cog from their midfield of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes — who have never lost a game they have started together — with the latter limping out of the FA Cup semifinal win over Brighton with an ankle issue.
“We have to see how Bruno Fernandes is, we don’t know yet,” said Ten Hag. “He is a question mark. But I think for the rest, we are quite okay. It’s more often that players, we protect them, prevention but it has to settle down. We have seen he played a full game and it happened in the first half. But tomorrow is quick, we have to see what is possible.”
Spurs tend to rally quite effectively after their lowest ebbs but they simply aren’t a good enough team to beat Manchester United. Pick: Tottenham 1, Manchester United 1
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Publish Date:2023-04-26 23:42:29