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Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo absent?  The shock of the Tottenham and Manchester United sides that we got to see as the Red Devils told CR7 forces them to ‘defend with 10 men’


Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United is expected to be a battle between Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Two elite scorers at the top of their game, both trying to pull their teams to glory with a variety of netbusters.

Ronaldo has made a frustrated figure in recent weeks
Getty

The reality is that they are both the root of their teams’ problems right now.

Kane has only one Premier League goal this campaign and his role in roaming north London seems at odds with Nuno Espirito Santo’s willingness to counterattack.

And, as Manchester United struggle, Ronaldo’s style of play doesn’t help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics at Old Trafford either.

He’s useless defensively and it’s possible, despite his habit of scoring clutch goals, that they play better without him.

Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo absent?  The shock of the Tottenham and Manchester United sides that we got to see as the Red Devils told CR7 forces them to ‘defend with 10 men’
Kane has become a shadow of himself in recent weeks
GETTY

Earlier this campaign, before Spurs’ problems really began, their former midfielder Jamie O’Hara admitted their best performances had come without their superstar striker.

He said at the end of September: “It’s difficult for me because Harry Kane is Mr Tottenham in my opinion, but I watch his body language and the way he plays and he doesn’t play very well.

“I kind of enjoyed Spurs at the start of the season when he wasn’t playing. I know it sounds bad because he’s a great player and he’s someone you need on your squad, but he’s come back to the squad and we can’t win.

“When it was [Steven] Bergwijn, [Lucas] Moura and [Heung-Min] Son up front, we sat down, we were calm, we took the pressure off and tried to hit the teams on the counter attack.

“Harry Kane has come back and he’s trying to do everything. For parts of the game he plays as the starting midfielder!

Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo absent?  The shock of the Tottenham and Manchester United sides that we got to see as the Red Devils told CR7 forces them to ‘defend with 10 men’
Tottenham surprised Manchester City in their Premier League debut when Kane did not play

“They are doing too much, we need you to play ahead and where it can happen.

“I feel like he’s slowing things down a bit for us by the minute.

“You can’t criticize him for who he is and what he has done for the football club, but at the moment he is not playing very well for us.”

In their Carabao Cup win over Burnley, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was forced to shout Kane to squeeze Ben Mee into the finals, as he managed two terrible first-half efforts in another awkward display.

So after just one goal in eight games, it might not be so far-fetched that Nuno Espirito Santo could drop it.

How Tottenham could line up without Kane:

Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo absent?  The shock of the Tottenham and Manchester United sides that we got to see as the Red Devils told CR7 forces them to ‘defend with 10 men’
What could Spurs look like against Manchester United?

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At Old Trafford, Ronaldo’s position is also at risk, according to another former Premier League star.

“I think for Ole he has some big decisions to make,” Darren Bent explained this week.

“If he wants to play this whole pressing game he might have to bite him a bit and say ‘you know what, Ronaldo was good but [Edinson] Cavani in terms of energy, pressure, hard work from the front, is a much better option than Ronaldo because every time Cavani comes in he runs, he works.

Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo absent?  The shock of the Tottenham and Manchester United sides that we got to see as the Red Devils told CR7 forces them to ‘defend with 10 men’
Cavani’s relentless move could see him chosen ahead of Ronaldo
Getty

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, if he is to survive in this role much longer, he will have to start making big decisions and that includes excluding the big guys.”

Bent added on Friday: “I would go with Cavani.

“Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer we’ve ever seen, but out of possession he’s a passenger, he doesn’t really do much.

“You play effectively with ten men when defending. “

Cavani’s desire would certainly ensure the Red Devils destabilize Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It also gives Solskjaer an amazing weapon on the bench, and you wouldn’t bet against the Portuguese ace who still manages to punish Tottenham.

How Manchester United could line up without Ronaldo:

Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo absent?  The shock of the Tottenham and Manchester United sides that we got to see as the Red Devils told CR7 forces them to ‘defend with 10 men’
What could the Red Devils look like against Spurs?

You can listen to Tottenham’s exclusive live commentary against Manchester United on Saturday, October 30 at 5.30 p.m.

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