Friday 13 March 2015

Match preview: United v Harry Kane (sorry, Spurs)

United face North London opposition for the second week running as we welcome fellow Champions League chasers Spurs in the first of ten "cup finals" that will define our season. 

As the Reds enter the final stretch of the season, everything now means something so it is vital that United refocus and build momentum, starting with this weekend's encounter against Tottenham, as the race for the top four looks set to go down to the wire. 

Robin van Persie is the only confirmed injury absentee, but Jonny Evans and Angel Di Maria are both suspended for this game and Marcos Rojo has a minor knock.
It is not yet decided whether he will be available on Sunday. 

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side, spearheaded by 26-goal striker Harry Kane, arrive at Old Trafford having been knocked out of Europe and missing out on silverware in the Capital One Cup final, but, largely thanks to Kane's red hot form, are still just about in contention for the top four. 

The men from the Lane sit three points behind us and two behind fifth placed Liverpool, so a win for United would all but put Pochettino's side out of contention for a top four place.
The Reds will be looking to avoid a hat-trick of home defeats to the North Londoners who have emerged victorious from their last two trips to M16.

Kane's bucketful of goals have taken him to the brink of an England call up, but as well as his pace, aerial ability, poaching instinct and strength, United should also be wary of Christian Eriksen's dead ball prowess.

Speaking pre-match on Friday, van Gaal said:
"I'm very pleased with the players reaction in training and I hope we can show that against Spurs- the first of the ten matches in the rat race.
"Every game is very important- we must keep the fighting spirit and we have to be more effective in finishing our chances.
"I have the same confidence as before and so do the players, their belief and mentality hasn't changed.
"Rojo is a little bit injured, you have to take care of the health of your players and he has a minor problem.
"Maybe I shall take him out of the match against Tottenham Hotspur but I have to decide."

Form guide: United W W L W W L Tottenham D D L L W W
Match odds: 10/11 Draw 10/4 Tottenham 16/5 (Betfred)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg 

Hurrikane warning: Keeping Spurs danger man Harry Kane in check will be the key to victory on Sunday 

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