The amount of touches Marcus Rashford has this season compared with Harry Kane makes interesting reading
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Man United v Spurs
Wednesday, 7.30pm, Old Trafford
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn't doing a whole lot right but he's at least accentuating his talents - or some of them.
The United engine room might as well be a ghost town, Juan Mata might as well be retired but there are two young attackers flourishing in an otherwise miserable existence.
Anthony Martial - just back from injury - and Marcus Rashford are banging in goals at a rate of one every other game. Before Messi and Ronaldo ruined football for everyone else, that was the benchmark of a prolific goalscorer and it's where Manchester United's hotshots are at right now.
There's no discernible team plan when you watch them play home or away these days but there's an obvious plan to get the ball to Marcus Rashford.
Rashford has played most of his games as United's centre forward, owing to Martial's injury problems. Solskjaer would prefer him to operate off the left and he's back there now with the return of the Frenchman but the amount of times the ball is being fed to Rashford isn't by accident.
If you look at the top possessions in the league this season, defenders lead the way of course, with Liverpool's iron lungs ahead of the pack.
1398 - Trent Alexander Arnold
1345 - Andy Robertson
1312 - Ricardo Pereira
1191 - Virgil Van Dijk
1190 - Ben Chilwell
1159 - Jorginho
You have to go down to sixth to Chelsea's anchor to find someone outside of the back lines hogging the ball.
Obviously, there's less space in attack but it doesn't stop Mané picking up the ball 684 times so far. Roberto Firmino leads the way for centre forwards with 648 possessions whilst Rashford isn't too far on down the list, ahead of Harry Kane by 162 touches with just one more game played.
Marcus Rashford 2019/20
Games - 14
Touches - 593
Goals - 7
Assists - 4
Harry Kane has the same amount of goals as Rashford with fewer touches of the ball but despite United scoring three fewer goals in the Premier League so far, Rashford has been directly involved in three more goals than his compatriot.
Harry Kane 2019/20
Games - 13
Touches - 431
Goals - 7
Assists - 1
It comes from the intent. Rashford is being fed the ball more and that means he's been able to rack up 42 shots, the same amount as Aguero and Salah whilst Kane has had 35 efforts - taking shots less often than Iwobi, Josh King or Jordan Ayew.
Rashford has also had 119 more passes because he's involved in the games more because he's allowed to roam but whether he's centre forward or off the left, the ball is coming to him.
Spurs travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday night and if the Harry Kane v Rashford rivalry isn’t enough for you this Wednesday, Premier Sports are also showing the league leaders Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, which you can stream live with a NOW TV Sports Extra day pass.
But in Manchester, there might be some certainties like a Mourinho ambush, an uninspiring United performance and more dropped points for Solskjaer. We also know that Marcus Rashford is going to be fed the ball a lot more though and that makes him more dangerous.
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