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Manchester United v Tottenham Match Odds, Preview and Tips

Tottenham Hotspur(7-6-1) @ Manchester United(5-6-3)

  • Where: Old Trafford. Manchester, England
  • When: December 11, 2016 9:15 am EST
  • Spread: Manchester United PK (-180) v Tottenham Hotspur PK (+145)
  • Moneyline: Manchester United (+115) / Tottenham Hotspur (+245) / Draw (+230)
  • Over / Under: Over 2.5 goals (+100) vs. Under 2.5 goals (-125)

After taking care of business in the Ukraine to ensure their spot in the Europa League come February, Manchester United turn their attention back to staying within touch of a top-four spot Sunday when they host a Tottenham Hotspur side with similar aspirations.

Both United (5-6-3) and Spurs (7-6-1) will be among the 32 teams remaining in the Europa League when it resumes in 2017, but Tottenham were relegated there as a third-place finisher in a Champions League group while England’s most storied club qualified directly as the rebuild under Jose Mourinho continues.

The Red Devils put together a business-like effort in winning 2-0 against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored second-half goals in a game they mainly dominated. With an eye on this match, Mourinho overturned six starters from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Everton as Sergio Romero, Eric Bailly, Ashley Young, Daily Blind, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney were in the first XI.

Manchester’s man of the moment Mkhitaryan and the Rooney/Ibra conundrum

Red Devils v Hotspur TipsMkhitaryan has strung together three solid outings, and the Armenia international opened his United account with his goal on 48 minutes. Given the midfielder’s recent fine form, taking a flier on him at 10/3 anytime goal-scoring odds through bet365 could be an underrated play.

Rooney, however, is a tougher challenge to decipher. The United talisman sat out the Everton match through a yellow card accumulation ban and has not been in the starting lineup since Nov. 6 versus Swansea City. Rooney — listed as a 2/1 anytime goal-scorer and 6/1 for first and last — is also sitting on 248 goals for United, one behind Sir Bobby Charlton for the most in the club’s storied annals, and the self-applied pressure grows every match he fails to net that historic equaliser.

He has 10 goals in 16 lifetime games against Spurs, including four in nine contests at Old Trafford. While Rooney continues to be up and down, the 35-year-old Ibrahimovic is defying Father Time. He netted his 12th goal in all competitions in Thursday’s victory, extended his goal-scoring streak to four matches in all competitions and has seven in his last six contests. The striker bet365 considers the favourite to score with 11/10 anytime odds has seven goals in 10 matches at Old Trafford and is a strong play to make it eight in 11.

Spurs, meanwhile, wrapped up their Champions League adventure with a 3-1 victory over CSKA Moscow on Wednesday to finish third in Group E. Dele Alli and Harry Kane scored goals seven minutes apart late in the first half to rally the London side, which failed to create any home-pitch advantage at Wembley Stadium in the European competition by going 1-1-1.

And going to Old Trafford doesn’t conjure up happy thoughts either — the Lilywhites are a ghastly 2-4-22 there in all competitions in the Premier League era — and only recently ended that lengthy winless drought with wins in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. It’s been back to the usual drudgery in the last two campaigns with back-to-back shutout defeats.

Is Kane able to end the Old Trafford hoodoo for Spurs?

The recommended play is to take a 1-1 draw for the scoreline at 6/1 odds at Bet365 (US BETTORS CAN ONLY BET AT BOVADA USING BUTTON BELOW), which would also make it an under play at 4/5 odds and 12/5 for a full-time result if you’re so inclined.

Kane has rediscovered his form from last season since returning from injury, netting seven goals in his last six matches. Though he has yet to find the back of the net in three trips to the red side of Manchester and five matches overall, the England international is long overdue for a goal against the Red Devils, and his form makes him an appealing selection at 6/4 anytime goal-scoring odds and potentially 9/2 last goal honors since Manchester United have played to draws in their last three league matches.

All told, this shapes up to be a cagey affair, and it will be interesting to see if Mourinho tries to slow the match down and find holes in Spurs’ defence to counter. With both teams eyeing a top-four spot, and Spurs trying to stay within shouting distance of front-runners Chelsea, this is as close to a not-lose game for the London side they can get in December.

Chris AltrudaThis article was written by Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has spent more than two decades as a sportswriter, first for ESPN SportsTicker in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he rose to the level of college sports coordinator and was NCAA Men's Basketball Columnist. From there, he moved onto The Associated Press, where Chris started as an editorial assistant in their MegaSports division in the AP's headquarters in New York City before taking on the role of Scores Manager. He most recently served as an editor for nearly 11 years for STATS' editorial department based in Northbrook, Illinois, writing game previews for all US professional and major college sports as well as the English Premier League and international soccer. Currently a freelancer, Chris is still working the international soccer beat and other assorted projects. A native New Yorker and graduate of Marquette University who still refers to them as the Warriors, Chris is now holding out hope the Jets will reach a Super Bowl in his lifetime since the Cubs proved miracles are possible by winning the 2016 World Series. Chris can be found on Twitter at @AlTruda73

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