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Kagawa should start on left at Spurs to follow Man City blueprint

| 29.11.2013

Manchester City’s tactics were extremely effective in their 6-0 triumph over Tottenham and Manchester United have similar players at their disposal that could be equally successful at White Hart Lane.

City’s main strengths were in midfield, where Samir Nasri drifted infield from the left to occupy Spurs’ chief midfield enforcer Sandro and Jesus Navas stayed wide on the other flank to offer a different outlet.

There is no reason why Man Utd can’t get the same input from Shinji Kagawa in the Nasri role and then from Antonio Valencia hogging the touchline in a similar vain to Navas.

The bolder call will come in terms of whether Moyes is prepared to start two outright strikers, with Javier Hernandez capable of being especially deadly playing on the shoulder of Michael Dawson.

By starting two strikers, Spurs will not be able to utilise the other central defender as cover for Dawson, while Kyle Walker’s consistent desire to influence play in the final third means the space he vacates next to Dawson could be an area of the pitch for Man Utd to profit.

Dawson is not the quickest and given Spurs have a habit of defending high up the pitch, runs in behind him are an avenue that need to be explored.

Manchester United are 13/8 to beat Tottenham and even if Robin van Persie is fit enough to return from injury, it may make the most sense to start him on the bench given the strategy of getting runners in behind.

If Moyes can get Kagawa to engage Sandro and then Rooney to drag the other centre back (Kaboul, Chiriches or Vertonghen) out of the backline, Hernandez could easily be one-on-one with Dawson, with plenty of space to break into.

Alternatively, Moyes could start Nani or Ashley Young from the left, who also have a tendency to cut infield, but are more natural wingers. Although, neither have the same appreciation of space as Kagawa.

Hernandez has scored three times in four appearances for the Red Devils and appeals at 11/5 to find the target in the 90 minutes against Spurs.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.