Introducing the new boys
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been spending heavily this summer to bring in reinforcements deemed capable of dethroning Chelsea. Young Dutch midfielder Memphis Depay has arrived from PSV Eindhoven (one of van Gaal’s former clubs) fresh off the back of a scintillating season where he fired in 22 league goals. German international midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger joins from Bayern Munich in a deal which surprised everyone, non-more so than the fanatical fans at the Allianz Arena. Italian defender Matteo Darmian turned down numerous offers from Italian clubs to join the Red Devils and van Gaal went shopping much closer to home to acquire Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. Old Trafford has bid farewell to Dutch striker Robin Van Persie who has left to join Fenerbahçe, Brazilian defender Rafael has joined Ligue 1 side Lyon but the biggest departure of the summer is that of Argentine Angel Di Maria, who has joined reigning French champions PSG.
In complete contrast, Spurs have had a quiet off-season so far. The most high profile new arrival at White Hart Lane being Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld, who joins from Southampton after spending last season on loan in Spain at Atletico Madrid. Coach Mauricio Pochettino has brought in more defensive cover with 22-year-old Austrian Kevin Wimmer arriving from FC Cologne and Kieran Trippier joining from Burnley. Bamidele Alli, a talented young English midfielder makes the step up to Premier League level after playing last season in the English second-tier with MK Dons. Departures out of the club over the summer have been Romanian defender Vlad Chiricheş who has joined Napoli, midfielder Benjamin Stambouli(PSG) and Brazilian midfielder Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande) Lewis Holtby makes a return to the Bundesliga with Hamburg SV and Frenchman Younis Kaboul remains in the Premier League after heading north to join Sunderland. Kyle Naughtonswitches Premier League clubs too, joining Swansea City.
Depay set to play starring role for United
Ahead of Saturday’s league opener, Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal hinted in one of his recent press conferences that his favoured formation for the coming campaign will be 4-3-3. New signing Depay looks set to play an integral part, being asked to play in a midfield three as well as playing behind the strikers in his more usual playmaker role.The big Dutch tactician has no doubts his new summer signing can adapt stating that; “I like that and I ask for that, especially from Memphis. It can also be Carrick or Schweinsteiger or Schneiderlin once in a while but mostly Memphis. It depends on our opponents.”
Will Kane Be Able
After last season’s heroics, in which saw the young man from London score 21 league goals and go on to make his debut for the full England team, interest on Saturday is sure to focus on Spurs striker Harry Kane. Having been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer the 22-year-old front man will be desperate to put in a top class display. The North London club also have high hopes for another young Englishman this season, 23-year-old Tom Carroll. An exciting midfield prospect, Carroll found his feet on loan at Swansea City last season. Now, with a full campaign behind him, coach Pocchetino hopes the young man from Watford can have a major influence on the team this season and with England almost certain to qualify for next summer’s European Championships in France, perhaps stake a claim for one of the midfield berths in the squad. In Spurs’ final warm up game, a 2-0 Audi Cup win over AC Milan on Wednesday, Carroll was dispensed into a more attacking position; his reward was scoring his team’s second goal on the night and his first for the club.
Probable Starting Line-Ups
Manchester United (4-3-3) De Gea; Shaw, Blind, Jones, Darmian; Schneiderlin, Depay, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Rooney, Young
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Rose, Wimmer, Alderweireld, Walker; Bentaleb, Mason; Chadli, Eriksen, Carroll; Kane
Previous Premier League Meetings
In the last ten Premier League meetings between the two sides, United have four wins, Spurs have two and there have been four draws. Spurs have won two out of their last three visits to Old Trafford however last season, a Wayne Rooney inspired Red Devils ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Manchester United 1.61 Draw 3.80 Spurs 5.50
Selected first goalscorer odds:
Odds courtesy of Bet365
By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)