Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United – January 31 – Wembley Stadium
Both teams have identical performances to show from their last 6 games – 4 wins and 2 draws. But the momentum could be with Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, having won the previous four outings on the trot. In the weekend’s match against Southampton, Tottenham’s scintillating form in their 4-0 win over Everton was nowhere to be seen, with Son Heung-min and Del Alli looking totally off-color in front of the goal. Son was replaced by Erik Lamela in the 70th minute to break the deadlock, but to no avail. The visitors were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Harry Kane getting his 99th Premier League goal in the match. The Lilywhites will in probability look forward to the return of Christian Eriksen lend the required imagination missing. Eriksen was ruled out for the Southampton match owing to illness and so was Hugo Lloris down with flu. Both are expected to feature in the critical Premier League fixture against Manchester United at the Wembley on Wednesday, January the 31st.
Mnachester United were lucky to have come away with a win from Turf Moor against a doughty Burnley. thanks to a brilliant second-half Anthony Martial goal. United forwards looked as lost as those of Spurs did against Southampton, which means folks like Lukaku, Mata and Pogba will have to pull up their socks for the big game at Wembley. The speedy but unfit Marcus Rashford, who was introduced just 10 minutes before the final whistle in the Burnley game could very well start off in the Playing XI on Wednesday. The imminent arrival of the £180 million Alexis Sanchez could give the United attack the much-needed zing missing from their recent matches. The Red Devil’s most convincing wins of 3-0 and 2-0 have come against a second-tier like Derby and Stoke City who are currently struggling to stay away from relegation territory. The only silver lining is that they have maintained 5 clean sheets in a row, thanks mainly to some incredibly stellar work by De Gea between the posts.
Jose Mourinho will pray that Spurs commit the same errors that made them lose out on possession quite often in the Southampton game. With someone as quick-footed as Alexis Sanchez around that could prove to be a boon for United. It was an own-goal by Tottenham’s full-back Davinson Sanchez that cost Mauricio Pochettino’s side two vital points.
Tottenham are on 45 points and in the 5th spot of the Premier League table, a clean 8 points behind 2nd placed United’s 53. The Spurs will try and also hope to take three points from the forthcoming encounter, considering that they have won both their home games against the Red Devils in the previous and current seasons. The bookmakers are thus wagering for a win for the hosts on the night of the last day of January. But then, those were in their happy hunting ground at White Hart Lane and not their present home venue of Wembley where the Spurs haven’t been exactly comfortable.
Irrespective of the result at Old Trafford. Spurs will stay rooted to the 5th spot of the Premier League for at least some time to come.
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