The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Maguire relishing the battle with his England pal Kane
Harry Maguire is “ready for battle” with England team-mate Harry Kane as Manchester United look to exact revenge on Tottenham. While Manchester City’s eye-watering lead means the Premier League title already looks beyond them, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side start the weekend in second spot, well placed to secure Champions League qualification. United have 60 points to their name and today head to sixth-placed Spurs, who only have 49 points after a stuttering second half of the campaign under Jose Mourinho.
It is quite the turnaround in fortunes from October, when the former United boss led Tottenham to a remarkable 6-1 win against the 10-man hosts at Old Trafford.
“It’s a great game to be involved in,” United captain Maguire said ahead of the clash. “It’s always a tough game after the international break and I always feel like the points are the big thing – you don’t really look at the performance.
“Spurs is going to be a big one. It’s one that we’re looking forward to. We had a bad result against them at Old Trafford this season, so we’ll be looking to get one back.” Maguire believes United “have more than enough to go there and get the three points”, although he knows better than most the threat posed by Kane.
“I want to play in the biggest games possible against the best players – that’s why I joined this club,” Maguire said.
“Harry is one of those players. He’s a top striker, one of the best in the world and he does it season after season. He’ll be ready for battle and I’ll be ready for battle. May the best man win.” Mourinho is hopeful his side can benefit from a free midweek. Spurs have not had the luxury of a full week on the training ground ahead of a Premier League game this season because of their Europa League and Carabao Cup commitments.
But their embarrassing demise to Dinamo Zagreb in the last-16 does now mean the majority of their remaining games this season come on the back of a free week. “We are working well during this week,” he said. “For the wrong reasons we were able to have a week to work, we didn’t have many, for the good reasons, we didn’t have many during the season.
“And now we had it. And that makes me positive. I enjoy the work this week. And I’m positive.
“I go with confidence because I believe in us, I believe in the work we are doing to try to prepare the match the best we can. I believe.”