Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Manchester United will beat Tottenham Hotspur next Monday despite their poor start to the season.
Jose Mourinho’s men produced an insipid performance in both attack and defence against Brighton and Hove Albion, and deserved to spend most of the game 3-1 down.
Their next match at home against Tottenham Hotspur, who have beaten Newcastle United and Fulham so far, has taken on enormous significance as a result.
And Merson, speaking on Sky Sports, believes Man United will pull out a result when they most need it.
“Huge match. Over the last three or four years, you see Manchester United turn it on in these type of games, when the pressure is on. They’ve done it to Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, everyone,” he said.
“I don’t know how they do it. I’ve seen this so many times. Jose Mourinho will tell them to go out and prove they’re good enough to play for the biggest club in the world. Because that’s what they are, in my opinion.”
United’s record at home to Spurs in the post-Fergie era has been surprisingly good. In 2012 and 2014 they lost to the North London side, 3-2 and 2-0 respectively, but since then have made light work of them: a romping 3-0 win in 2015, a 1-0 win later that year without having a shot on target, and a pair of 1-0 victories under Mourinho to go with victory in the FA Cup semi-final last season.
In that sense, perhaps they are the perfect opponents: victory next week would entirely change the mood and give the players a lift, whereas anything else would only further highlight the demons at this club, and only reinforce the notion that United are in something of a crisis.