Manchester United resume Premier League campaign with clash against Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United resume their Premier League campaign and a push for next year’s Champions League on Friday night against a Tottenham Hotspur side also seeking a berth in European club football’s most prestigious competition.
United are fifth on 45 points and a win will take them into fourth - the final slot for next season’s Champions League.
Spurs go into the fixture in eighth place and victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would propel them to sixth - just one point behind United.
The battle for the 2020/2021 Champions League and the relegation dogfight are the main intrigues of the Premier League’s return.
When play was suspended in March as the British government fought the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool were 25 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City with 10 games to play.
Following Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday, Liverpool still need six points to guarantee their first title in 30 years.
During that drought, Manchester United have won the top flight crown on 13 occasions. Though they are light years away from Liverpool in this season's Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are in the hunt for silverware in the FA Cup and the Europa League.
As part of that trophy quest, Solskjaer says he wants his France international midfielder Paul Pogba to show his qualities as a midfield general following an injury-blighted season.
"Paul is one of the best midfielders in the world, so of course we expect him to gradually improve as he gets more and more game time," Solskjaer said.
"Paul has had a very, very good career. Of course he is a World Cup winner and we want to have that leadership on the pitch as well."
The three month hiatus has also allowed the United forward Marcus Rashford to recover from his back injury. The break has also benefited Spurs. Jose Mourinho can call on the services of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn who have all recovered from injuries.
"The reality is we are now in a better position to where we were before," said Mourinho.
"We got Harry and Sonny back, the players with the best stats in terms of scoring and assists. They give us this kind of attacking power."
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