Premier League Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Preview (Friday, June 19)
Tom Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Mourinho
- Updated Premier League odds list Manchester United as a short favorite over Tottenham on Friday afternoon, with the total at 2.5.
- We're expecting a sluggish start as these teams return to action following a three-month layoff, and betting the first half under and one other market as a result.
- Get our full preview and pick for Man U vs. Tottenham below.
Manchester United at Tottenham Odds
|Manchester United odds||+138 (BET NOW)|
|Tottenham odds||+195 (BET NOW)|
|Draw odds||+240 (BET NOW)|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-118/-106) (BET NOW)|
|Time||Friday, 3:15 p.m. ET|
Before the Premier League’s 100-day break due to COVID-19, Manchester United and Tottenham were headed in opposite directions. Playing without Harry Kane and Heung-min Son in attack, Spurs were winless in five matches, losing twice to RB Leipzig in Europe and losing to both Chelsea and Wolves.
Meanwhile, United had won three of four, including wins over Chelsea and Manchester City.
United’s strength is undeniably on the defensive side, where newcomers Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have propelled its defense to just 30 goals allowed on 29.4 expected goals against this year.
United is the frontrunner to nab fifth place and a potential Champions League spot if Manchester City lose their appeal and are banned from the competition next year.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
But the break provides a certain benefit to Tottenham, who will have Kane, Son, and midfielders Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele available when the Red Devils visit an empty Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday.
While Spurs midfielder Dele Alli is suspended, and Giovani Lo Celso and United star Paul Pogba are both unlikely to play a full 90 minutes, both teams are near full strength for a clash that will go a long way toward deciding Champions and Europa League places for next year.
Spurs are a long way from their disastrous start to the season which led to the sacking of manager Mauricio Pochettino. They turned to Jose Mourinho, and since he’s taken over, have taken 27 points from 17 matches, good enough for fifth place in the Premier League in that time period.
But a look under the hood reveals the structural problems that have quietly developed at Spurs for the last two seasons. Spurs have a negative xG difference on the season, allowing 0.15 more xG than they create across the season. Part of that is the performance decline of Kane, part Spurs midfield falling apart.
Tottenham turned from a pressing monster from 2016-18 into a team severely lacking both defensively and in the midfield. They haven’t been able to press opponents or break through opponents’ presses and it’s why they have tumbled down the table in dribble success rate, passes allowed per defensive action and possession rate.
Mourinho has set up Spurs to be a more direct, counter-attacking team, which is also where United is at its best. Both teams have struggled against the lower-end of the table, where they are required to break down opponents sitting in low blocks. United’s best performances of the year have actually come against the league’s top teams (Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City).
What does that all mean for this matchup? It’s best to look at the previous one. In the last meeting, United won 2-1 at Old Trafford after Marcus Rashford grabbed a brace on a second-half penalty.
Overall, neither team created a ton of chances as the total xG for the game was 1.2-0.5 in favor of United. I’m anticipating a slow start to this match, where both teams struggle to gain a foothold and will be looking to break out and counter.
Like both first halves of the PL games on Wednesday, rust is to be expected.
But as the game progresses, United are much sturdier defensively, as Spurs’ defensive woes haven’t improved much since hiring Mourinho. The addition of Bruno Fernandes for United in attack and the potential addition of Pogba should overwhelm Spurs’ defensively and create enough to find a second-half winner.
Because of the low-scoring nature of this matchup, I’ll take Manchester United to win in with a draw being a push.