The standout fixture in the Premier League on the opening weekend of the new season has to be Manchester United v Spurs, a tussle that we have all been looking forward to since the fixture were released on 17th June a couple of months ago.
Both sides will have new talent to showcase in the curtain raiser at Old Trafford, and while United have heavily invested in the attacking areas of the pitch and the midfield, Spurs have focussed on bolstering their defensive options so far in this summer window.
Memphis Depay could start for United, and we could see a new midfield partnership deployed by manager Louis van Gaal, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick. One of United’s other midfielders could be included, but after Carrick’s outstanding performances last term, you would think he will start on Saturday.
A new partnership could be displayed at the heart of the Tottenham defence on Saturday after the purchase of Toby Alderweireld from Spanish club Atletico Madrid. He could line-up alongside Jan Vertonghen, a partnership we have previously seen in two player’s times at Ajax.
It is a little unpredictable to tell whether Kieran Trippier or Kyle Walker will start at right-back with DeAndre Yedlin seemingly out of the frame due to reports linking him with a loan move away in England.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marcos Rojo will miss out for the Red Devils as they both lack match fitness and David de Gea will be left out of the matchday squad after Louis van Gaal said that the goalkeeper has been affected by speculation linking with a move to Real Madrid affecting him.
For Spurs, Hugo Lloris, Roberto Soldado and Ryan Mason will all face late fitness tests to see if they are fit to play in the season opener at Old Trafford.
Last season, the contest was over in twenty minutes at Old Trafford as Spurs were penned into their own half for the most part of the game. United raced to a 3-0 lead early on and stunned Spurs, who never recovered from the early blow. However, take last season’s defeat out of the equation, and Spurs have had good memories of visiting Old Trafford in the last few years.
It will be interesting to see how strong the defensive partnership of Toby Alderweirled and Jan Vertonghen will be should they start together, and they face one of the toughest tests in the league on the first day of the season. I think this will be a tight game, that will end in a draw.