Predicted Spurs starting XI: Strike duo to start vs Man United, midfielder drops out

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has a job on his hands to pick a team fit and sharp enough to record a positive result against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

Spurs have had a horror fixture list in recent weeks, with the club competing in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, testing the players’ early-season conditioning.

Tottenham will get a reprieve after the game as the international break approaches and as such a good result is needed at Old Trafford.

It will be interesting viewing to see what formation Mourinho selects, with scope for either a 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 depending on the Spurs personnel at his disposal.

The summer signings of Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty suggest Tottenham will this season look to a three-man defence, similar to the one fielded against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

Should the wing-back duo start at Old Trafford, and I think they will, Spurs will need to select three centre-halves – with Japhet Tanganga and Ben Davies potentially the men to miss out.

In midfield it will be fascinating to see if Tanguy Ndombele is given a chance to play, but Tottenham may opt for the more conservative and disciplined Harry Winks alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Giovani Lo Celso.

In attack, while Son Heung-min has been included in the Spurs squad, it would be a surprise if he has fully returned from injury in time to start and as such it could well be Lucas Moura and Harry Kane as the men to lead the line.

Dele Alli’s Tottenham future remains a point of contention and it could be telling to see if the 24-year-old is given a place among the substitutes or misses out altogether.

Predicted Tottenham XI vs United (3-5-2): Lloris; Alderweireld, Dier, Sanchez; Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Winks, Lo Celso, Doherty; Lucas, Kane.