Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces his Manchester United predecessor Jose Mourinho tomorrow night when Tottenham travel to Old Trafford.
But after two consecutive draws against promoted sides, he has no shortage of questions to answer.
It could be a pivotal night for both managers so we’ve picked out three of the main issues Solskjaer must get right against a resurgent Spurs side.
Can Solskjaer produce a tactical masterplan?
Solskjaer has produced expert gameplans which have secured wins over Arsenal, Chelsea and tomorrow’s opponents in his first 50 games, as well as denying Liverpool with a draw earlier this season.
But now he has limited time to prepare after the Villa game, a match in which he got it wrong. And he is facing a man who is arguably the best around at winning a one-off match with a tactical masterclass.
That creates a major challenge for the Norwegian and he will need to show all of his tactical nous to come up with a gameplan to stop a Tottenham side who won 3-0 at Old Trafford last season.
Should this involve three at the back? This worked against Liverpool, but less so against Sheffield United. It might help shut down Harry Kane’s threat, but it may leave United more unbalanced higher up the pitch.
Can United keep hold of a lead?
Despite performing poorly, United have gone in front in the last three matches, and failed to win every time.
Sheffield United equalised late on at Bramall Lane, Astana wrestled a win from a 1-0 half time deficit and United couldn’t hold Sunday’s 2-1 lead for much more than a minute.
Tottenham have conceded twice in every game under Mourinho, so United could well get their noses in front once more.
Mourinho was a master of shutting down games, but Solskjaer’s side do not have that knack yet. If United do get in front, they must find a way to stay there.
How do you stop Dele Alli?
Alli is a man transformed under Mourinho, and his two-goal display clinched Saturday’s 3-2 win over Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, United’s midfield consists of a patched-up Brazilian pair, Fred and Andreas Pereira, who were overwhelmed at Bramall Lane and picked apart by Jack Grealish on Sunday.
Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic might be back against Tottenham, and the former would be especially helpful against Alli, but the Englishman’s form represents a real challenge for this makeshift United midfield.
United have been leaking goals at an alarming rate recently and Alli’s form presents another big problem to deal with.
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