Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has once again received a mandate of confidence this week as rumors and speculation swirl about his future with the Premier League club, and despite all this, all eyes remain on the Norwegian coach ahead of his team’s away match against Tottenham Hotspur. London next Saturday.
Unlike Barcelona, who sacked coach Ronald Koeman on Wednesday, United’s management rejected calls to dispense with Solskjaer’s services after the team’s humiliating and unexpected 5-0 defeat at home against rivals Liverpool in the last round of the English Premier League.
But this confidence needs justifications to continue, and therefore any new stumble in the Tottenham stadium will certainly bring Solskjaer closer to leaving, especially with the approach of the Manchester City summit meeting against neighbor Manchester City, the defending champion in the next round.
United’s players were subjected to a barrage of criticism after the huge defeat against Liverpool, which striker Marcus Rashford described as “shameful”, after which the team is seventh with 14 points from nine matches.
United got one point from the last four games they played in the English Premier League, thus evaporating all hopes of winning the title, which started in the early stages of the season.
The United fans’ hopes of ending the club’s fasting this season were boosted by the return of Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo to the team, but the veteran striker did not live up to expectations in the last four matches he played in the Premier League.
With Paul Pogba suspended for being sent off against Liverpool, all eyes will focus on Solskjaer’s squad to face Tottenham in the British capital, while doubts remain about Ronaldo’s starting role from the start.
Despite the distinguished attacking power of United, the team conceded nine goals in the last two matches they played in the league, and therefore it urgently needs some strength and solidity in the midfield and defense, and coach Solskjaer may resort as a result to Nemanja Matic, the defensive midfielder, although he is outside the starting lineup.
Despite the great focus placed on United’s stumble, Tottenham certainly suffers from problems as well, which was manifested through its defeat against West Ham United 1-0 in the last round.
Tottenham Hotspur, led by coach Nuno Espirito Santo, is one point ahead of United.
On the other hand, Newcastle United, whose ownership has been transferred to a consortium led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, will seek to achieve the first victory in the league this season when it meets with Chelsea, the leader, next Saturday.
Chelsea have scored against Norwich City seven times this weekend, winning five of their last six league matches against Newcastle, who will also play under their interim coach, Grim Jones.
Second-placed Liverpool will seek to maintain their brilliance and overwhelming supremacy after their 5-0 victory over Watford and Manchester United when Brighton & Hove Albion host the fifth-placed team, while defending champions Manchester City host Crystal Palace, who drew in their last four matches in the local league.
As for West Ham United, who are in fourth place, they will be in high spirits when they visit Aston Villa next Sunday, after they knocked out Manchester City from the League Cup on penalties on Wednesday.
Norwich City, the bottom team, will seek to overcome the consequences of its defeat against Chelsea when it meets its struggling guest Leeds United next Sunday.
Burnley, who have not won any victory so far, like Norwich and Newcastle, will meet their guest, Brentford, who has not been defeated away from home this season.
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