Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, March 15 – 16:00 GMT (12:00 ET)
Match Odds: Manchester United 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – Tottenham 14/5
Manchester United and Tottenham clash at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon in yet another crucial Premier League fixture that will go some way to deciding who qualifies for Champions League football come the end of the season.
Man United come into this game off the back of an FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Arsenal on Monday which would’ve hurt Louis Van Gaal and he needs to make sure that United recover quickly.
Tottenham have bounced back to winning ways following the League Cup final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley two weeks ago with hard-fought victories against Swansea and QPR.
The Red Devils and Van Gaal in particular have been subjected to a wrath of criticism from fans and the media alike for their supposedly poor performances over the last few months.
Despite the unrest, Man United are currently still fourth in the table and have only lost two of their last 18 Premier League games (W12, D4). Their defence is also statistically the best it has been at this stage for the last five years, although they still have to face Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in a tricky run-in.
With both sides now no longer taking part in any other competition, they can solely focus all of their attention on trying to secure that highly sought after top-four finish.
Tottenham themselves have only lost two of their last 14 Premier League games (W9, D3), although they are yet to record a victory on the road against a team in the top five this season.
Spurs can take huge confidence from the fact that they’ve won on their last two visits to Old Trafford and are unbeaten against United in their last five.
A win for Mauricio Pochettino‘s men would take them level on points with United, whereas a win for the Red Devils would further the gap to six points and would keep them in the top four, so the importance of this game couldn’t be higher for either side.
The reverse fixture at White Hart Lane ended as a 0-0 draw during the busy Christmas period of fixtures in December.
Angel Di Maria will miss the game through suspension after his red card against Arsenal on Monday. Jonny Evans is also still suspended. Robin Van Persie is unavailable as he continues recovering from an ankle injury. Luke Shaw and Ashley Young will be assessed but should be fit to play.
Tottenham will have a full squad to choose from with no reported injury issues and no one serving any suspensions. Andros Townsend will expect to retain his starting berth on the right wing in place of Erik Lamela. Harry Kane will lead the line once again as he hopes to add to his impressive tally of 16 goals this season.
Manchester United’s last five in the Premier League: D/W/L/W/W
Tottenham’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/D/W/W
Key Stat: Manchester United have only failed to score at home once this season, while Spurs have also only failed to score away from home on one occasion.
Key Player: Wayne Rooney – We’ve seen him deployed as the main striker or as a central midfielder and the debate over his best position is rife. Wherever he plays, he is crucial to United and can make the difference on any given day.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United 1-1 Tottenham – It’s one of those games where any result is possible but the implications of defeat will be huge for both sides. They’ll probably share the spoils.