Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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  • United took four points from Spurs last season
  • Spurs fell 3-0 at Old Trafford
  • Red Devils hold all-time series 77W-42D-37

Well, well, well look what we have here: the 2015-16 opener for the Premier League season, and it begins with a doozy.

Two teams looking for big, big seasons square off at Old Trafford when Tottenham Hotspur rolls in to visit Manchester United on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m. ET (Watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Spurs have added Burnley standout Kieran Trippier as well as Bundesliga import Kevin Wimmer and ex-Atleti and Saints man Toby Alderweireld, hoping that defense will become a strength. Eric Dier looks to be a part of their midfield.

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But it’ll come down to Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Spurs’ attack, as the White Hart Lane crowd is hoping for a long-awaited Top Four breakthrough. Mauricio Pochettino’s second year at the helm should be a boon for the club.

For United, it’s the culmination of another busy transfer season that saw Louis van Gaal bring in a bevy of new talent while offloading Robin van Persie and Angel Di Maria.

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LVG, however, has only made one big defensive move in slotting in Matteo Darmian, and will have to hope Bastian Schweinsteiger is his healthy, hard-nosed, organizing best at age 30. Can they challenge for the title?

What they’ve said

Van Gaal on starting Sergio Romero over David De Gea: “”It is not easy for David De Gea to manage his situation now. You know that we have problems with De Gea. He shall not play, so I don’t have any concerns [about him this weekend].”

Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld on the match: “I’ve played a lot of big games so I know what to expect. The first game of the season is always a strange one – everybody is very excited and we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big challenge. We have the opportunity to take a good first step – we are confident we can get a good result but we know it will be difficult. They have brought in a lot of good players but we’ve had a good pre-season and trained hard so physically we are 100 per cent and we want to get a good result to start the season.”

Prediction

Really, anything can happen here with two brilliant match managers and a bevy of talent. You’d peg Spurs defense to be hard to beat, but United has an incredibly array of firepower. Who will be the difference: Wayne Rooney or Harry Kane? Will it be Juan Mata or Christian Eriksen who takes center stage? Or will a surprise hero announce his early prominence (much like Dier last season)?

Here’s a shaky, shrugging suggestion that we see this one end 2-2.