Manchester United are just one day away from the club’s Premier League restarting.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is busy working out how to select his team, made complicated by having a near fully fit squad to choose from.
Defender Luke Shaw spoke to the club website about how United will approach the game, and he said that United will look to maintain a high intensity.
Shaw said: “We can take a lot of heart from our performance in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford this season (2-1 win). We’ve watched clips of that game this week and I think we were virtually unplayable at times that night.
“We pressed Spurs really high, made it very tough for them to play out and when we had the ball we were really quick with our decisions and actions.”
Why this suits Dan James
We looked this week at a couple of ways United could line up, 3-4-1-2 or 4-2-3-1. The latter formation would see James start out on the right wing.
This was the role he played in United’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City in early March, which seems like a lifetime ago now.
James was excellent in performing the task Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent him out to do, chasing down every loose ball, and stretching the away side’s defence to put them under pressure.
Full-back has been a real problem for Tottenham this season and adding James out wide can help pressure them into mistakes.
James’ pace is ideal for Solskjaer’s tactical approach and will make Spurs wary of committing too many men forward.
When United face Spurs in pre-season they struggled to cope with him and resorted to trying to hack him down.
Now with Bruno Fernandes in the team, United have a set piece specialist who is able to take advantage of any fouls James draws.
One of the challenges for teams is going to be implementing a fast playing style, without the pressure and intensity of fans. If Spurs are not ready for it, James’ speed and constant pressing will catch them out, and create space and opportunities for United’s other attacking dangermen.
With so many players competing for places at United now, James will know he has to make the most of the starts he gets. He won’t be guaranteed to get picked in the next XI if he does not seize his opportunity.
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