Manchester United face Tottenham at Old Trafford on Wednesday night with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoping that the man he replaced almost exactly 12-months ago doesn’t hammer the final nail in his own managerial coffin.
The United boss is reportedly fearful he will lose his job should Tottenham win on Wednesday night – a message he has has since passed on to his players on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Sunday.
The result left the Red Devils ninth in the Premier League, eight points off the top four and 22 adrift of table-topping Liverpool – and according to reports in The Mirror the Norwegian has told his players he will be sacked if they lose to Tottenham.
The paper claims that a United source revealed: “Ole was a little bit emotional and told them that if they don’t get two results this week, he could be gone. It is the worst time to be facing Spurs with Jose coming back.”
The United’s boss will also be wary that Mourinho will have a point to prove against his former employers, who sacked him in December 0f 2018 and will be desperate for victory when he returns to Old Trafford.
The fact that former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is now looking for his next move having been dismissed by the North London club last month will also increase the pressure on the former striker who won the European Cup with United in 1999.
With only four Premier League wins all season United are just six-points clear of the relegation zone and face the prospect of welcoming a Tottenham side who have been rejuvenated since Mourinho’s arrival.
They have scored 10 goals in just three games during a spell which has seen them progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League while also closing the gap on those above them in the Premier League table.
Last season, Spurs thrashed United 3-0 on their last visit to Old Trafford – a result which sparked the beginning of the end for Mourinho in Manchester
Wth Hugo Lloris missing until the New Year, Paulo Gazzaniga is certain to keep his starting role in goal while Erik Lamela is sidelined with a thigh injury along with Ben Davies as the Portuguese boss will no doubt be keen to sure-up a defence which has shipped six goals in their last three matches.
As for Solskjaer he’ll be hopeful that Scott McTominay will be fit to play with Paul Pogba missing once more for the Reds and, although Nemanja Matic, Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are back in training, they are lacking match fitness, while Diogo Dalot and Marcos Rojo are still out.
Talking at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday the United boss said of recent speculation: “I’m just focusing on my job. That’s doing as well as I can and look forward to the next game, but also look long term, plan things with the board.
“We have had too many draws for my liking – defeats as well, but draws we should have turned into wins. Football is a results business and we’re not happy and know we should do better.”
Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Wednesday, December 4th
19:30 kick off
Live on Amazon Prime
*Odds subject to change
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