Paul Merson explains his prediction for Man United v Tottenham
Paul Merson is tipping Man United's home clash against Tottenham to end in a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night
Paul Merson is backing Manchester United and Tottenham to play out a 1-1 draw in Wednesday night’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are looking to return to winning ways in the English top flight after after they were held to a frustrating goalless draw at home to Newcastle United on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag’s side currently find themselves in fifth place in the table and four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham – although the Red Devils have played one game less than the north Londoners.
A win for Ten Hag’s men on Wednesday night would move them to within one point of Spurs with a game in hand – but former Arsenal star Merson is expecting to see the game end all square, despite claiming it is a “must-win” encounter for the home side.
“This is a hard game to call,” Merson wrote in his column for Sportskeeda. “Manchester United had a couple of good chances last week, and I don’t think Newcastle picked the right pass at times.
“If United don’t win this game, they take a draw and a defeat on their trip away to Chelsea. They’re facing two of the top four in their next two Premier League games, and it’s a massive week for them.
“Liverpool could go bang-bang-bang for their nine points, and United could find themselves behind Liverpool by the end of the week. Manchester United have the hardest set of games out of everybody this week.
“This is a must-win game for Manchester United, and I don’t think that is the case for Tottenham. Antonio Conte will want to make sure his team doesn’t lose this match, and he’ll be the happier of the two managers with a draw. Tottenham will make sure they don’t lose this match.”
Meanwhile, former Chelsea FC striker Chris Sutton feels that Manchester United “rode their luck” against Newcastle United at the weekend and is tipping Spurs to claim the three points on Wednesday night.
The former forward feels that Spurs will be well set-up to hit the Red Devils on the counter-attack and inflict a fourth Premier League defeat of the season on Manchester United.
“Manchester United rode their luck against Newcastle, but I think it will be a different story against Spurs,” Sutton wrote in his own column for BBC Sport. “If Harry Kane gets any chances, then he is in the kind of form to take them.
“At the other end, United were slightly toothless against the Magpies. They missed Christian Eriksen, who was out with illness and is still a doubt for this game, and they will need his craft to cause his former club any problems.
“Even if Eriksen plays, however, I’m going for an Antonio Conte counter-attacking win for Tottenham, with Kane kicking things off by winning another penalty and slotting this one away too.”
Elsewhere, Manchester United summer signing Lisandro Martinez has earned praise from Luke Shaw following the Argentina international’s arrival at Old Trafford from Ajax.
The 24-year-old defender has started all nine of Manchester United’s games in the Premier League so far this season and has seamlessly slotted into the Red Devils’ back four since his arrival at the club.
“Unbelievable,” replied Shaw, when asked about Martinez’s start at Old Trafford. “You can see that everyone loves him, the fans love him. His left foot is unbelievable.
“I think it always helps when you go with a left-footer on the side he naturally likes to come out and he’s fitted in really well.
“Of course, he can keep getting better and better and, so far, he’s been unbelievable this season. He needs to keep that up, his aggression, his passion.”