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Preview: Manchester United to pile the pressure on Spurs to take the win?

Old Trafford, Manchester

Premier League 2016/17

Sunday 11th December 2016 – KO 14:15 [Live on Sky Sports]

Referee: Bobby Madley

Assistant Referees: Mick McDonough and Marc Perry

Fourth Official: Mike Jones

Manchester United entertain Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. United are undefeated in seven matches in all competitions, which is some good form to be in, but it could be better. In cup competitions; EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League, United have been playing some good football recently, beating Feyenoord 4-0 at Old Trafford, West Ham United 4-1 at Old Trafford and Zorya Luhansk 2-0 in Odessa. In the Premier League, United have struggled to gain some form, drawing their last three matches in the competition, their last four at home, not winning in the league since the 6th November when they beat Swansea City 3-1, last winning at home in a 4-1 thrashing of Leicester City at Old Trafford on the 24th September. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United really need a result against Tottenham Hotspur, which could very easily be a turning point this season.

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 13th goal of the season against Zorya Luhansk in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening, a tally he has reached in 19 appearances so far this season. The 35-year-old Swedish striker is not showing his age and really wants to make something out of his time at Old Trafford, challenging to win trophies and league titles, the latter will be tough this season. Speaking ahead of the visit of Spurs to Old Trafford on Sunday, the Manchester Evening News reported the veteran striker as saying:

“We want to kill every game we play. But as long as you create the chances, you’ll score. But you also need to get the three points. That’s more important, but you can get the three points by winning 1-0, not only 4-0. We’ve created many chances, but you need to close the game out. It hasn’t happened yet, but we’re working hard. We’ve learned now that we have to score more than one goal to get the three points. I think we’re performing very good and the team has got a good balance. We’ve had some unlucky games, some games we made simple mistakes to concede a goal, but most of our game is good. So if we can just get a couple of wins in a row, it would give us even more confidence. We are not playing badly.”

Antonio Valencia has also spoke, this time to MUTV ahead of the visit of Spurs on Sunday. The Ecuadorian spoke about Manchester United needing to play entertaining football, which has been visible over the past few weeks, especially in cup football, whereas in the league, it is yet to fully show itself. Valencia said:

“I think we’ve always had a duty as Manchester United players in whatever game we’re playing in; it’s not only a duty to win trophies and titles but also to play well with entertaining football. That’s what we fight hard to do. We play hard and we try to play our absolute best in an entertaining manner so the fans leave the stadium and go home happy with a good result after seeing some good football.

“Any game in the English Premier League is entertaining and that’s always our aim. What we have in our mindset and in our thoughts when we’re going into a game is that we try to win, get the three points, and play well at the same time. I’ll repeat: I think that’s what we’ve been doing in these last few games. I think we have been entertaining the fans and producing some good football. And again it’s all about continuing with that and trying to get the three points on Sunday.”

Manchester United Form:- WDWDW

Zorya Luhansk 2-0 W, Everton 1-1 D, West Ham United 4-1 W, West Ham United 1-1 D, Feyenoord 4-0 W

Manchester United have been the team many want to see in the cup competitions recently, but in the league they seem to regress into the side that have been around for the last three seasons. Unitred have not won in the league at home since the 24th September when they beat reigning Premier League champions Leicester City. Their last league win was against Swansea City on the 6th November, drawing their last three league matches, their last four at home – six in total this season. United need to find a way to carry their form from the cup competitions over to the Premier League, or a six point gap as it stands between sixth and fifth, could well rise, leaving United out of chances to gain something this season, which ideally needs to be UEFA Champions League football next season.

Tottenham Hotspur Form:- WWLLW

CSKA Moscow 3-1 W, Swansea City 5-0 W, Chelsea 2-1 L, AS Monaco 2-1 L, West Ham United 3-2 W

Tottenham Hotspur have started the season well, sitting inside the top five so afr this season, three points of fourth-placed Manchester City. Spurs have recently been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League, falling into the Europa League because they were not good enough in Europe, once again. Spurs supporters feel they are a team worthy of winning the Premier League, but with them being seven points off the top at this stage of the season, they have their work cut out in order to compete for the title, which after they failed last season – which was their best chance, I just do not think this side is capable of winning league titles. I was reading last season how good Pochettino has made this Spurs side – if they were that good, they would still be in the Champions League, wouldn’t they?

Manchester United Top Scorers:

13 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 5 – Juan Mata, 4 – Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, 3 – Jesse Lingard, Wayne Rooney, 1 – Michael Carrick, Own Goal, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Chris Smalling

Tottenham Hotspur Top Scorers:

9 – Harry Kane, 6 – Son Heung-min, 5 – Christian Eriksen, 4 – Dele Alli, 3 – Vincent Janssen, 2 – Erik Lamela, 1 – Toby Alderweireld, Josh Onomah, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama, Harry Winks

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Injuries and Suspensions: Chris Smalling (foot), Luke Shaw (knock)

Tottenham Hotspur Squad:

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Pau Lopez

Defenders: Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer, Ben Davies, Cameron Carter-Vickers

Midfielders: Son Heung-min, Érik Lamela, Victor Wanyama, Georges-Kévin N’Koudou, Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Mousa Dembélé, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Josh Onomah, Tom Carroll, Harry Winks

Forwards: Vincent Janssen, Harry Kane

Injuries and Suspensions: Vincent Janssen (ankle), Ben Davies (ankle), Érik Lamela (hip)

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Manchester United 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur

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