Saturday 10 December 2016

Match preview: United v Tottenham

United have alternated between wins and draws in the last six games but boast an excellent recent record against Tottenham. 

We've lost only three of the last 15 matches and with only six points separating the sides, who are adjacent in the table, attentions turn to domestic duty after both sides secured Europa League progress in midweek.
Spurs dropped out of their Champions League group after finishing third but, after successive defeats, Mauricio Pochettino's side arrive at Old Trafford buoyed after back-to-back wins. 

Jose left several key players at home for the trip to Ukraine - including Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian - who look set for returns.
Eric Bailly impressed on his comeback and could again feature, and captain Wayne Rooney is available again after a one-match domestic ban. 
Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling remain unavailable as they recover from injuries. 

Toby Alderweireld will be involved for Spurs who are boosted by the recent return of Harry Kane, but Erik Lamela and Vincent Janssen remain sidelined for the visitorsIt through injury. 

Draws have been the common result for us at home and Spurs away this season, but a similar result here will not be much good for either side in the battle to make up ground on the chasing Premier League pack. 
We had mixed fortunes against the north London side last season - we edged them out through a Kyle Walker own goal on the opening day of the season before a disappointing 3-0 defeat in the White Hart Lane return.

Jose said: 
"It will be another very difficult match, they are a very good team with a very good manager and very good players.
"They will be the first team we've played in a few weeks that will try to divide control of the match with us - they cannot accept our dominance because that is not Tottenham's style.
"I think they played a fantastic first half against Chelsea and that is the only time they lost in the league so this is Tottenham - they are a very strong and powerful team. 
"They are ahead of us in the league and that shows their quality so it is a good opportunity for us to move closer to them but it will be difficult for us."

The visit of Spurs is the first of three games in six days for the team, with trips to Crystal Palace and West Brom ahead of the festive fixtures with North-East duo Sunderland and Middlesbrough. 

Form guide: United D W D W D W Tottenham D W L L W W 
Match odds: United 6/5 Draw 12/5 Tottenham 13/5
Referee: Bobby Madley 

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