Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United both go into today’s meeting at White Hart Lane on the back of an impressive run of results.
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United have gone eight games unbeaten in the league, drawing one and winning the other seven – including Boxing Day’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle United. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie scored the goals as United’s aggressively attacking formation continued to reap rewards.
Van Gaal has opted for a 3-5-2 for much of the recent winning run, with Rooney and Juan Mata as part of a midfield three behind the front two. Much of the formation’s success has hinged on the performances of Michael Carrick, either at the heart of the defence or in his usual midfield holding role. The former Spurs midfielder’s return from injury coincided with the improved results, and Carrick is confident of continuing the run against his old side.
“The signs have been good in recent weeks,” Carrick said. “We were bitterly disappointed not to win last week (at Aston Villa) but we beat Newcastle and now have two big away games. They will be a good test for us to see where we are at. We’re not satisfied with third – it’s obviously an improvement and we’re getting better, but we want to keep looking up.
“Going to Tottenham is always a tough game and to go there two days after the Newcastle match at 12 noon makes it very tough. … It’s a game we look forward to and we go there confident. Results breed confidence and the manager has been able to make more of a consistent selection, which helps. We’ve still had to change a couple of the defenders around a little but, all in all, it’s been more of a consistent selection and I think that has helped us.”
The return to fitness of Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw could give Van Gaal the option to rotate his squad in the middle of the busiest spell of the season, but Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj all remain sidelined.
Hosts Tottenham Hotspur have lost just one of their last seven league games and Boxing Day’s 2-1 win over Leicester City made it four wins on the bounce for the Lilywhites in all competitions.
Forward Harry Kane has scored in three consecutive league wins and has established himself as the Spurs first-choice striker having finally been given a chance after years out on loan. It took Kane less than a minute to find the back of the net against Leicester, but his team needed a brilliant free kick by Christian Eriksen to secure a hard-fought win.
“It was a tough game, ” Kane said of the win at the King Power, where he spent time on loan in 2012-13. “We got the goal early on but sat off them after that, let them get on the ball and they created a few chances. They scored their equaliser at the start of the second half but Christian popped up with a magical goal. I thought it was going to be a cross! … I’m delighted for him and to get the three points, sometimes you have to grind out a result and we’ve done that.
“We’ve built up some momentum now in the Premier League, we’re going into these games in form, both at home, hopefully we’ll get the fans going and get positive results. Everyone knows United are a top side and they’ve hit form. It will be a tough game but we’re confident and ready for it.”
Spurs haven’t lost to United in either of the last two seasons, drawing both games at White Hart Lane and winning each of their last two trips to Old Trafford.
Source: ScoreMobile FC