Manchester United brace for tricky Spurs trip
Erik ten Hag's Manchester United will be making a tricky trip to Spurs on Saturday in hopes of making it two wins from two in the Premier League -- a feat they haven't achieved in a league season since 2017-18 under José Mourinho.
Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham began their new campaign with a 2-2 draw away to London rivals Brentford last weekend, while the Red Devils scraped a controversial 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In the game against Wolves, United saw 23 shots attempted at their goal – the most that the Red Devils have faced in a Premier League match at Old Trafford in just under 18 years. André Onana made six saves in keeping a clean sheet on his competitive debut for the club but was lucky not to concede a penalty in injury time following a collision with Wolves' Sasa Kalajdzic.
Meanwhile, it will be Spurs' first home game since the departure of England captain Harry Kane to Bayern Munich, with new manager Ange Postecoglou chasing his first Premier League win after a 2-2 draw at Brentford on the opening weekend.
The good news for Spurs, however, is that Argentine defender Cristian Romero, who was subbed off after a head knock in their game against Brentford, is fit for today's game.
Romero headed Spurs' first Premier League goal of the campaign after 11 minutes at the Community Stadium but was then taken off for suspected concussion.
"Cristian is good to go. Obviously he has been in the hands of the medical team going through all the protocols. He's ticked all the boxes and felt fine all week," Postecoglou told reporters on Friday.
"Aside from that, no change from last week."
One player that failed to find the net in a Premier League game for Spurs, again, was Richarlison. The pressure is on the Brazilian to perform in front of goal following Kane's departure, and after Sunday's match at Brentford, he's now played 1,096 minutes of Premier League action at Spurs and contributed just a single goal.
Richarlison's next goal would be his 50th in the Premier League, but he's only scored once in nine league appearances versus Man Utd, for Everton in April 2019.
Meanwhile, the top four last season all won their opening games this term but the Manchester City versus Newcastle clash today ensures the run cannot continue.
Newcastle face the first big test of their Premier League title aspirations but the trip to champions Manchester City could be coming at the right time for the table-topping Magpies.
The late kick-off at the Etihad will be City's fourth game in two weeks and follows Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup penalty shootout win over Sevilla in the sapping heat and humidity of Athens.
Pep Guardiola's side are also without influential Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, ruled out for up to four months after suffering a hamstring injury in the season-opening 3-0 win at Burnley.
"Thank you so much to the Premier League for letting us play on Saturday, and not on Sunday and Monday," Guardiola said sarcastically of the 72-hour turnaround from Wednesday's game. "Thank you so much".
Newcastle are meanwhile well-rested and still fizzing after their 5-1 home thrashing of Aston Villa on the opening weekend sent the Saudi-owned side top of the standings on goal difference.
Newcastle have yet to win a Premier League match at The Etihad but the arrival of Italy's Sandro Tonali has boosted an already strong midfield featuring Brazil internationals Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are overwhelming favourites to win their first home league game of the season against Bournemouth on Saturday, a side they thumped 9-0 at Anfield last August to equal the Premier League record.