Tottenham’s decision to end pre-season three days before their Premier League commitments commenced might look an especially strange one should they take a lunchtime pounding at Manchester United.
Old Trafford notoriously holds plenty of painful memories for travelling Lilywhites, so sapping energy reserves ahead of the trip can’t be considered ideal preparation.
These antics doubtless contributed to the massive 9/2 the visitors have been afforded to claim the spoils from their Theatre of Dreams sojourn, with Man Utd a sure-fire 65/100 for victory.
Giving Spurs a goal head start does little to raise their prospects of success either, with the bookies going 5/4 the away side prevail if handed an advantage.
Similarly, subtracting one goal from United’s tally and it still being enough for them to claim the spoils also pays at a sizeable price, 8/5 to be exact.
The Lilywhites were unable to rustle their next opponents’ net in two meetings last time around; a 3-0 Old Trafford loss followed a goalless draw at White Hart Lane.
It was the sixth of eight home matches against this opponent that Louis van Gaal’s troops had triumphed by a margin large enough to land the handicap punt in question.
Furthermore, United were victorious in seven of their final ten home matches of the 2014/15 edition where a margin of at least two goals divided the protagonists.
It would’ve also landed in four of Spurs’ last nine away matches too.
This quartet includes the aforementioned reverse against United, which took their total to three defeats by two goals or more from four trips to Champions League qualification-winning sides last season.
As far as friendly form goes, United have warmed up with a pair of two-goal wins from their last three non-competitive clashes, while Mauricio Pochettino’s men shipped a brace in meetings with Real Madrid and the MLS All-Stars.