Manchester United focused swiftly on Wednesday evening’s Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur as they prepared at their Carrington training facility on Monday, only 24 hours after their goalless draw with Newcastle United.
The Reds, who beat Tottenham twice last season, 3-0 away and 3-2 at Old Trafford, blew a chance to stay in touch with the top four against the Magpies, producing an insipid display. United, on the other hand, had chances to take all three points late on, missing good opportunities via both Fred and Marcus Rashford.
But, with another crucial game against Tottenham Hotspur, who are presently joint-second in the table, United has little time to reflect on what could have been. In recent weeks, the Reds have struggled to score goals at a rapid pace, netting just once in their last two home games.
United will be determined to give their fans something to cheer about against Antonio Conte’s side, given the expected demand for them to score goals on a regular basis in order to delight their fans, particularly at home. As a result, shooting practice was most likely on the agenda at Carrington on Monday.
MEN Sport has selected three observations from the training session.
1. Eriksen is nowhere to be seen.
United’s recent training session photographs showed no evidence of midfielder Christian Eriksen, casting questions on his availability for the match against Tottenham. The summer signing missed the game against Newcastle for the first time this season due to illness.
Prior to Sunday’s draw, the Dane had started every Premier League match, and his absence was obvious. United lacked his ability to command midfield proceedings and pick the lock of the opposing defense.
Ten Hag revealed after the draw with Newcastle that he was unsure if the former Brentford player would be available for the encounter with Spurs.
“I don’t know [whether he’ll face Spurs],” remarked United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. “In our squad, he significantly contributes to where we are right now; I’m not sure if he’ll be available for Wednesday, but I hope so.”
Of course, he could have trained just out of sight of the cameras. During his pre-match press conference on Tuesday lunchtime, Ten Hag will provide an update on his fitness.
2. McTominay hopes to return.
Scott McTominay was suspended for the game against Newcastle after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the 2-1 win against Everton the week before. When combined with Eriksen’s absence, it left United with few options in central midfield.
Fred began the game against Eddie Howe’s team and had a rough afternoon, therefore most United fans will want to see a change in midfield against Spurs. If Eriksen is ruled out again, McTominay will be ready to take his place.
The Scotland international trained as planned on Monday, taking part in a little exercise alongside Facundo Pellistri and Marcus Rashford. McTominay has started six Premier League games for United this season.
3. Children appear once more.
The spectacle of members of Manchester United’s junior squads taking part in first-team training is becoming routine. Since his arrival at the club, Ten Hag has been eager to get a close look at members of the Reds’ young talent pool, routinely inviting youngsters to train with the senior group.
It wasn’t any different on Monday. Alejandro Garnacho, Joe Hugill, and Zidane Iqbal were among those photographed, however, it is possible that others were present as well. United’s bench against Newcastle was filled with young players, including Garnacho and Iqbal, as well as Kobbie Main.