Menu

Ratings: Eric Bailly is going to be a big miss in Sweden; Rooney can leave

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday, the final game to be played at White Hart Lane before its demolition. It took Spurs just six minutes to break the deadlock through Victor Wanyama, with Harry Kane scoring the doubler three minutes after the break. Wayne Rooney got one back for United, seemingly off a Spurs player after some exciting play from Anthony Martial. United played awfully, a poor showing from the senior players, some of which are full England internationals. It was Spurs’ 50th victory over United at White Hart Lane, a fitting farewell for the stadium. United have some work to do ahead of their UEFA Europa League final against Ajax, which will be played a week on Wednesday. First, United will travel to Southampton on Wednesday evening, before entertaining Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Axel Tuanzebe made his second consecutive start in the Premier League, this time playing out of position, seemingly marking Christian Eriksen with both Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney also playing in midfield. It was too much to expect from Tuanzebe, who did well during his full debut against Arsenal, marking Alexis Sanchez throughout the match, which United lost 2-0. The unbeaten run in the league was well and truly over with two league matches still to play. United had done well until last Sunday, avoiding defeat from the end of October to mid-May, which is some good form, despite the fact many of the matches during the unbeaten run were draws. United now needed to win the Europa League in order to play in the Champions League next season, a competition where they do not really deserve to play in with too many players at the club past their best.

Goals: Wayne Rooney 71′

Assists: Anthony Martial 71′

Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly, Jones, Smalling Tuanzebe (Herrera 61′), Carrick, Rooney, Blind; Mata (Rashford 79′), Martial, Lingard (Mkhitaryan 61′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian, Mitchell; McTominay

Bookings: Wayne Rooney 37′, Eric Bailly 90+1′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Not the best performance from De Get today. Conceded twice and could have gifted more. His goal was under threat during the first half and United were not up to dealing with it.

12345

3 Eric Bailly

The best defender on the pitch against Spurs, despite playing at right-back. Had the chance to get back into the game before half time, but wasted the chance. Will be a big miss in Sweden the week after next.

12345

4 Phil Jones

The England (injury-prone) international was poor at best today. Does not control his area, cannot get the better of players with any ability. Out of his depth and should be out of chances. He did redeem himself by stopping Delle All from scoring, but one right action does not make you Maldini.

12345

Chris Smalling

Since his return, Smalling has been at fault for two goals. Many still remember him being the best defender last season, but it is the present, not the past which you need to look too. Not good enough. Offered leadership, but could not take ownership of his faults and there are many of them. Arrivederci from me.

12345

38 Axel Tuanzebe

The 20-year-old was played out of position and looked out of his depth. Just did not make an impressing during the match, like he did a week ago against Arsenal. To see the likes of Jones and Smalling in defence and this talent wasted in another position was poor tactics from the manager.

12345

16 Michael Carrick

The former England international was not at his best today. He and the rest of the midfield and defence was overrun by this Spurs side. Just not good enough and massive improvement needed.

12345

Ratings: Eric Bailly is going to be a big miss in Sweden; Rooney can leave

Played his part in the first goal, not marking his man and Spurs scoring. Scored in the second half, but that does not make hims a superstar again. Out of place, out of sorts and hopefully out of the club this summer.

12345

17 Daley Blind

The Dutchman was infixed by Spurs, tried to help his teem out when they seemed to be regressing, which was from the very start of the match. Not sure he's safe this summer with men needing to be found and boys needing to grow up or ship out.

12345

8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder was back in the team but spurned a chance after Wanyama's opener which could have changed the game for United. Maybe not back to his best yet after injury, but needs to show why he should be picked over other players in the team.

12345

9 Anthony Martial

Played as the central striker, but was not always central. He has the pace and ability on an off the ball to succeed. Had some good attempts to score and set one up for Rooney, but that was all. Perhaps not playing in the strongest side with much expected of him, which might have been a little unfair. United need some work this summer of a fifth season will have come and gone with United seemingly struggling.

12345

14 Jesse Lingard

The Academy graduate did not seem to offer anything today. Unable to form a bond with Martial, unable to take on his man, not being as bulky as his opposition. Lingard is a decent squad player to have with a good work ethic, but there are much better players in the squad who will pip him the starting places week in and week out.

12345

Substitutes

21 Ander Herrera

Replaced Tuanzebe. Brought the energy needed to take on Spurs. The goal came after the change, which seemed to see United play that (little bit) better.

12345

22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Replaced Lingard. The Armenian was rarely involved in the match, which is a shame as the scored a decent goal win the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.

12345

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata. Had a great chance to draw level for United, but missed the opportunity. Brought speed and determination, but it did not pay off for United.

12345

Report: Rooney finds the net in Spurs defeat; United poor throughout

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in their final match at White Hart Lane as we know it. It took Victor Wanyama just six minutes to find the opener, with Harry Kane scoring a second just after the restart. United got a goal back through Wayne Rooney in the 67th minute of the match, but struggled for large spells of the game with Spurs up for the victory – saying goodbye to the Lane as they head to Wembley to play their home matches next season whilst their new stadium is built.

Jose Mourinho made eight changes from the side which earned a UEFA Europa League final place by beating Celta Vigo on aggregate on Thursday with David De Gea, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial all returning to the starting XI. Mourinho looks set to play in the 3-4-3 formation, which is defensive, meaning United may set up to draw, which will not placate many. That being said, there are some good attacking outlets in the team, along with pace in places, so it could be one of those matches like the recent victory over Chelsea. It took Spurs just six minutes to take the lead with Victor Wanyama scoring a header past David De Gea with Rooney defending the danger of the Kenyan midfielder.

After conceding in the opening six minutes, Spurs were pegging United back into their own half where they were having to defend and create deep, which was not going to get them anywhere, seemingly inviting the pressure Spurs could give them. United did get forward on a few occasions, the best through Anthony Martial, who had a shot which was off target. Spurs got the better of United once again, had a shot on goal which was palmed away by De Gea with United then clearing the ball from danger. United seemed to be out of their depth with Jones not being the defender needed to stop Spurs, United seemed to be exposed with him on the pitch. Harry Kane had a shot on goal, from a Christian Eriksen cross, which was headed over the crossbar for a goal kick.

In the 27th minute of the match, United won a free-kick after Wanyama fouled Eric Bailly, kicking the back of his knee, which seemed to hurt the Ivorian. United were unable to get anything from the free-kick with Spurs regaining possession and winning their own free-kick at the edge of the United area. The distance between these United and Spurs sides was massive in terms of ability. Smalling and Jones were showing the manager why he should sell him and Rooney was showing his drastic decline since the start of the season, I’m not that he was not in decline before the season started. Spurs had another shot on goal through Delle Alli, which was put out for a corner, which came to nothing. Rooney was booked for a challenge on Eriksen in the 37th minute.

In the final few minutes of the first half, United were still defending with Spurs the better side; they have had two passes for each United pass, which shows the difference between the two sides. United were missing Paul Pogba, whose father died over the weekend, meaning he was excused for this match and could be back in contention against Southampton on Wednesday evening, along with Marouane Fellaini, who returns from suspension. A minute of added time was played at the end of the first half with Spurs getting another shot on goal, which De Gea thwarted. The first half ended 1-0 to Spurs with United needing to do a lot in order to turn this match around. So far so good for Spurs’ last match at White Hart Lane as we know it.

Three minutes into the second half, Spurs found a second goal through Harry Kane after a precise free-kick from Eriksen and some more pathetic defending from Chris Smalling. To think he’s a full international makes be worry about the future of football. Ajax will be salivating in the fact that Jones and Smalling will play in the UEFA Europa League final, or at least the chances of one of them playing will be quite high. The performance was dire by United, a clueless game of football. Spurs were running riot and United failing to do anything to stop them. It makes me wonder if Mourinho was giving certain players enough rope to hang themselves with. Mourinho made a double substitution with Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to replace Axel Tuanzebe and Jesse Lingard.

In the 63rd minute, still 2-0 down, Martial tried to get his team back into the match bending a shot towards the goal but it was wide of the mark.  United did get one goal back with Wayne Rooney claiming the goal which seemed to come off the Spurs defender. It was some great work by Martial, who set the effort up for the captain. United were back in the game, albeit by the score, not the actual performance as some just don’t seem to be trying. Marcus Rashford was the final substitute for United, replacing Juan Mata in the 79th minute of the match with United still trailing 2-1. Five minutes of added time was played at the end of the match inside which Marcus Rashford broke through on the attack, having a chance to draw level, seeing his shot go wide.

United needed to think themselves luck that they were not shown up even more today. To have two England internationals in the heart of defence, another, the captain in midfield and not pushing this Spurs side to get a result United needed was dire. Yes, United cannot break into the top four this season, but it also shows they have no pride either. United were defeated 2-1 and seemingly marching onwards to Wednesday’s match away to Southampton, which will probably be much like this match, depleted, dire and a poor quality of football from a team who should be aiming so much higher.

Goals: Wayne Rooney 71′

Assists: Anthony Martial 71′

Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly, Jones, Smalling Tuanzebe (Herrera 61′), Carrick, Rooney, Blind; Mata (Rashford 79′), Martial, Lingard (Mkhitaryan 61′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian, Mitchell; McTominay

Bookings: Wayne Rooney 37′, Eric Bailly 90+1′

Team News: Tuanzebe starts; Mitchell and McTominay on the bench

Manchester United have travelled to North London for the second week running in the Premier League, this time facing Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, the last match to be played at the North London stadium, a sad day for Spurs. Chelsea have already secured the Premier League title with a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Friday evening, so Spurs have nothing to win this season but will need to ensure their challengers for second place in the league do not get an edge over them. United have nothing other than pride to play for in the league, sitting in sixth place and needing a top four finish to earn UEFA Champions League football next season, but the fact they will face Ajax in the UEFA Europa League final still gives them a chance of Champions League football by winning the only major trophy the club have failed to win in their history. Here is today’s team news for both teams…

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Bailly, Jones, Smalling

Tuanzebe, Carrick, Rooney, Blind;

Mata, Martial, Lingard

Substitutes:

Romero; Darmian, Mitchell; Herrera, Mkhitaryan, McTominay; Rashford

Tottenham Hotspur:

Lloris;

Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies;

Wanyama, Dier;

Eriksen, Alli, Son;

Kane

Substitutes:

Vorm; Walker, Wimmer; Nkoudou, Sissoko, Dembele; Janssen

Spurs and United have an 185 match history with United winning 88 times, drawing 48 times and Spurs winning 49 times. Today could mark their 50th victory over United at White Hart Lane, which would be a fitting send-off for the team who will be playing all home matches on the hallowed turf of Wembley next season, which did not hold much luck for them in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League this season. One thing is for sure, Jose Mourinho will be looking to win in London, losing against Chelsea and Arsenal and only beating both Crystal Palace and West Ham United in the capital. United could make it three victories in London this season, or three defeats – or maybe even two wins, two losses and one draw. Either way, United will need to be strong to get the better of Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side.

Preview: Mourinho to give youth a chance in White Hart Lane farewell?

Tottenham Hotspur -v- Manchester United

White Hart Lane, London

Premier League 2016/17

Sunday 14th May 2017; KO 16:30 BST

Manchester United will travel to North London again this weekend, this time to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at White Hart Lane, the last ever competitive match at the stadium before it is demolished for development. Next season this fixture will be played on the hallowed turf of Wembley. Both United and Spurs have little to play for in the league at this stage; Spurs already finishing second to champions Chelsea, who clinched their fifth Premier League title on Friday evening with a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, their sixth league title in total. United have nothing to play for either sitting in sixth place, out of the Champions League places and in with a tough chance at breaking through into the top four, with Jose Mourinho stating it was impossible with three matches left to play this season. Mourinho playing youth may just be the best thing that could happen in the league, resting the players for their UEFA Europa League final against Ajax in a week and a half.

Mourinho utilised Axel Tuanzebe from the start against Arsenal last weekend, also giving Scott McTominay his debut at the end of the match, which United lost 2-0. Both players could be in with the chance to play again this weekend, but adding the likes of Demetri Mitchell and maybe even Matthew Olosunde could be a good thing for Mourinho and United, even though the U23’s will be due to face Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday evening, the final match of the season at that level of football. United could use the last three league matches of the season to blood in youth, test them at the top-level in view of what to do next season. A new star could be unearthed – stranger things have happened – look at Marcus Rashford, which will be viewed as a benchmark for the youth players at this moment in time. Mourinho was asked about his selections for the final three league matches of the season, starting with Spurs away and he said:

“I approach these games the same. I have to give some minutes to everyone because we only have 15 players. We don’t have more. We only have 15 so I have to play them but I have to play them in a mixed way and by periods. 

“I don’t have another solution. In the Premier League, we can only finish fifth or sixth. I don’t think we can finish seventh or we can finish fourth so it’s fifth or sixth and we can win a trophy. By winning that trophy, we can play in the Champions League next season so that’s the game but, obviously, like we did against Arsenal, we didn’t throw the match away. 

“We played and we tried to win. We gave a difficult match to our opponents and had chances to get a different result. It’s what we are going to do. We are not going say matches are not important – they are important. But we have one that is more important than others. The match on Sunday is important for us too.”

Match Officials: Jonathan Moss to officiate the last ever United v Spurs match at White Hart Lane

Jonathan Moss will officiate the final match at White Hart Lane on Sunday. This will be Moss’ 36th match of the season; 29th in the Premier League, also officiating two League One matches, three FA Cup matches and two League Cup matches this season. In total, Moss has shown 137 yellow cards and three red cards in the matches he has taken charge of this season. This will be his fifth match involving Manchester United this season, taking charge of his fourth Premier League match involving Mourinho’s side; the 1-0 victory over Hull City, the 1-1 draw against West Ham United and the 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough. Moss also took charge of the 2-1 EFL Cup defeat to Hull City, with United progressing to the final on aggregate. The assistant referees have been names as Eddie Smart and Andy Halliday with the fourth official confirmed as Lee Mason.

Form: United’s season can end with two trophies, Spurs have won nothing…

Manchester United: This season, despite United’s league position, it has been a successful one. United started with an FA Community Shield victory, winning the EFL Cup on the hallowed turf of Wembley in February and could lift the UEFA Europa League in Sweden at the end of the month, completing their haul of every major honour the clubs has entered, which will be a foundation ahead of next season where United will be tasked to take on Chelsea for the Premier League title, lifting their second in three years at the end of this season after clinching the title on Friday evening. Mourinho has been successful, but United still require improvement, clearance of the deadwood and taking a chance on youth, which could come over the next three matches.

Tottenham Hotspur: Mauricio Pochettino’s side have played attractive attacking football for most of the season, coming unstuck when it mattered, allowing Chelsea to win the Premier League – at the moment with ten points over their London rivals. Spurs could peg that back to seven with a victory over United on Sunday, but will their season have been all that successful? Spurs exited the EFL Cup, the Emirates FA Cup, not to mention the UEFA Champions League at the group stages and then the UEFA Europa League in the round of 32. Winning nothing will be what Spurs’ season was all about, despite looking good, what do they really have to show for it. That will all come to a head in the final match at White Hart Lane, where just like West Ham United, the London club will be looking to end their time at the stadium on a high.

Who are the top scorers at both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur this season?

Manchester United: 28 – Zlatan Ibrahimović, 12 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 8 – Anthony Martial, 7 – Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, 5 – Jesse Lingard, 4 – Marouane Fellaini, 2 – Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling, 1 – Daley Blind, Own Goal, Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio Valencia

Tottenham Hotspur: 27 – Harry Kane, 21 – Dele Alli, 19 – Son Heung-min, 12 – Christian Eriksen, 6 – Vincent Janssen, 3 – Victor Wanyama, 2 – Eric Dier, Erik Lamela, Danny Rose, 1 – Toby Alderweireld, Tom Carroll, Ben Davies, Mousa Dembélé, Josh Onomah, Harry Winks

Team News: Youth to be given the chance by Jose Mourinho in penultimate away match of the season?

Manchester United will be without Marouane Fellaini, who will be sitting out of his third league match in a row after being sent off against Manchester City a few weeks ago, being available for the final two matches of the season away to Southampton and at home to Crystal Palace. Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are all out for the remainder of the season through injury. It is possible that Mourinho will rotate his side like he did against Arsenal a week ago, possibly with some youth players being granted a chance to show what they can do in order to get in the manager’s plans next season. Mauricio Pochettino will be without three players; Erik Lamela, Harry Winks and possibly Danny Rose who was due to recover from his MCL injury ahead of this important match – the final match at White Hart Lane.

Previous Meetings: 118 years at White Hart Lane ends this weekend for Tottenham Hotspur who could win their 50th match against United!

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have played 185 times in the history, the first meeting being played on the 28th January 1899, a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup. United have won 88 times against the North London club, drawing 48 times and losing 49 times. The first match at White Hart Lane between the two sides was played on the 11th September 1909, a 2-2 draw in the old division one. There have been a number of great fixtures between the two sides over the years, both at White Hart Lane and Old Trafford. The 5-2 thriller on the 25th April 2009 was one of the most memorable, United were 2-0 down in the 32nd minute – scoring five second-half goals in 22 minutes from a penalty in the 57th minute, to the final goal eleven minutes from time – which was scored by former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov. The other four were scored by Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney – a brace a piece. United once went 26 matches unbeaten against Spurs in domestic competitions stretching from the 5-3 victory on the 29th September 2001, right the way to the 3-1 victory on the 4th March 2012 – more than ten years unbeaten. Recently, though, United have found it tough against Spurs – winning three times in the nine matches played since their 26-match unbeaten run was ended. United have drawn once and lost once in two matches at White Hart Lane since their last win back in 2012.

Starting XI Prediction: Who is going to start against Tottenham Hotspur?

Predicted Score:

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United

Key Battles: Tuanzebe, Mitchell and McTominay to be given the nod against Spurs?

Manchester United travel to North London on Sunday afternoon to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, the final competitive match at White Hart Lane. Spurs will be playing for nothing on Sunday being that Chelsea clinched the Premier League title on Friday evening with a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Spurs have already finished in second place this season with Liverpool seven points behind the North London club with six points left for them to play for. United have nothing to play for either, being back in sixth place after Arsenal beat them last Sunday, then beat Southampton in midweek, with a place in the Champions League possible only by winning the Europa League in a week and a half. Jose Mourinho could do something good in the league for United in their final three matches, playing youth! Not a full team, but players who have seemingly been knocking on the door of the first team this season. For this match, the key battles will be about three players who could find themselves starting for United this weekend.

Axel Tuanzebe

Axel Tuanzebe made his Manchester United debut during the 4-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup at the end of January after he replaced Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the 68th minute of the match, playing 22 minutes with United 2-0 up at the time. Tuanzebe then made his full debut last weekend, starting against Arsenal at right back, doing well throughout the match, keeping Alexis Sanchez on his feet and seemingly pegged back through the United defenders pace, intelligence and ability on and off the ball. Tuanzebe is a player who has a big future at United, being praised by Mourinho during pre-season, where he played in a friendly against Wigan with United winning that match 2-0. Tuanzebe is a central defender but can play in other positions, right-back being one of them. That position has been a problem for United this season with Antonio Valencia clearly first-choice but Matteo Darmian had been switched to left-back with Luke Shaw’s season going from bad to worse with injury and poor form. Ashley Young has also filled in at both fullback positions, but he too is injured and out for the remainder of the season, along with Shaw. Tuanzebe could fill in for Valencia again, placing him in a more central role, alongside Eric Bailly could give Mourinho a better option to rely on over Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

Demetri Mitchell

Demetri Mitchell is a player who has endured an injury-plagued early career at United over recent seasons but this season, at this moment in actual fact, Mitchell is fit and ready to go. Mitchell has played in a defensive role for the U23’s this season, which has seen him put in some good performances for his side. The fact United do not have much cover at left-back at this stage of the season with Daley Blind playing a central role, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw on the sidelines and Matteo Darmian playing the role currently, the chances of him being rested would be slim. In steps Mitchell, who can put in a shift in this role, showing Mourinho and his side that he need not look at players outside of the club to fill the void in his squad, seemingly looking at youth to solve problems, which is where the Class of 92 came in for United under Sir Alex Ferguson more than 20 years ago now. Mitchell is quick on his feet, has the ability both on and off the ball and can do the role needed at left-back, playing there for the U23’s. I would not be surprised if Mourinho used the next three Premier League matches to blood in youth, giving them a chance to impress ahead of next season, where United’s players will need to step up as the excuses have been used during the past four seasons.

Scott McTominay

Scott McTominay made his Manchester United debut against Arsenal at the Emirates last Sunday, coming on for Juan Mata in the 84th minute of the match. McTominay, despite it being his debut and only being on the pitch for six minutes plus injury time, did not disappoint the on looking crowd. The 20-year-old had one shot on goal, which was saved, maintained possession with 100% of his passes successfully reaching a teammate, blocking an effort a minute after entering the pitch, also making a headed clearance in the 90th minute of the match, which thwarted an attempt for the home side to extend their lead once again. McTominay graced the pitch at the Emirates just over 24 hours later, playing for the U23’s, sadly on the losing side again. The fact McTominay made the best of his cameo shows his character. He’s a central midfield with some attacking flair, which has shone through this season in the U23 squad with them not having an out-and-out striker in the team with McTominay, Willock, and others stepping in at times to guide United through the season. I believe McTominay, the only player with Scottish roots at the club currently, will be an asset to both United and Mourinho, offering something new and more importantly rising through the ranks, furthering his career and looking to impress ahead of the new season. Whilst he may not be fully ready, not playing at the top-level will thwart that from coming through, so there would be no time like the present to test players abilities, which may see United not needing to spend top dollar in the summer, needing patience for players to develop, which is all part of the game.

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United – Barclays Premier League 2015/16

White Hart Lane, London

Barclays Premier League 2015/16

Sunday 10th April 2016, KO 16:30 BST live on Sky Sports 1 HD

Referee: Mike Dean;

Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt and Eddie Smart;

Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss

Manchester United face Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays Premier League at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon, a week after their last match against Everton at Old Trafford, which resulted in a 1-0 victory by Louis van Gaal’s side. United may have had a tough season, but there are plenty of positives to look at. Deadwood has been removed from the club, with more to get rid of, but youth is coming through, taking their chances and looking good in the first team, which just goes to show that the Academy was never-failing, despite the criticism from the media, the same media who seem to shout from the rooftops about Manchester City’s Academy, despite no players actually making it into their first team on a consistent basis. Pep Guardiola may just change that, but it is something that the club would need to hope will succeed, rather than watch it succeed, which is the case for United. Not all player forge careers for themselves at Manchester United, but they do forge careers for themselves at other clubs, consistently, which goes to show everything is working.

United are having that much of a poor season, which is something you can read about daily in the media, that they are in fifth place, not a position where United are used to being, but they are in fifth with a great chance of increasing that before the end of the season. United are also in the quarter-final stages of the Emirates FA Cup, and will need to get through West Ham United in order to become a semi-finalist, in which they could face Everton at Wembley, a side they have already beaten twice in the league this season. United are at present four points behind Manchester City, it was a point but they have beaten West Bromwich Albion at a rather empty Etihad Stadium this evening, with United playing Spurs, with a chance to take it back to a point behind City. Arsenal are in third place just six points ahead of United, which could be three points by this time tomorrow night. United may be long out of the title race, but the race for a top four place is well and truly open, and achievable for United, no matter what any of the naysayers suggest.

Injuries have taken their toll on United this season, who have played the majority of the season without Luke Shaw, who has now returned to training, although he may not play again this season. The squad has also missed the experience of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, who have both been out for long periods, not to mention the defence, which has seen Phil Jones sit on the sidelines for much of the season, although that is not much of a loss based on current form and the fact he was schooled by a Chelsea U21 side earlier this week, although he did come through that match without injuring himself, so that has to be applauded. Wayne Rooney was a big loss when he was ruled out for a period through injury, after being a player close to form again. But since then, we have seen the rise of Marcus Rashford, meaning Rooney has not been missed that much, although it could have been much better. This is a season where Rooney has declined massively, yet has managed to break the goalscoring record for England and is close to doing the same for Manchester United, which is something that some want to see happen, other don’t. That is something for another time, though. Injuries are coming to an end, although Bastian Schweinsteiger is the only long-term injury, there are other players on the sidelines. United need to get over the injuries and get back to football. Their rivals this season have dropped points; West Ham United 3-3 Arsenal earlier today was a big one, with United having the possibility to end Spurs’ title chase this season with a victory, then onto relegating Aston Villa in a weeks time – see it could be a lot worse for United supporters.

United have played Tottenham Hotspur 23 times at White Hart Lane in the Premier League era, winning 12 matches, drawing eight and losing three times. United have scored 38 goals, conceding 25 and keeping nine clean sheets. This season, United beat Spurs 1-0 at Old Trafford on the first day of the season, even if it was down to a Kyle Walker own goal. United’s record away to Spurs is a good one only losing three matches out of the 23 played. That result needs to continue with United keeping their chase on the top four, which many supporters seem to think is long gone, despite the fact that United are right in it, providing they win on Sunday. United have a lot to play for this season, something to end the season on a high. Their next two matches are important, which then sees them head into some easier matches, which we well know seem to be hard for United, especially this season. Come on UNITED!

Manchester United Statistics (Domestic League):

Based on Barclays Premier League 2015/16 [statistics are taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 31 matches, won 15, drawn 8, lost 8 and currently have 53 points

Scored 39 goals (1.26 goals per match) and conceded 27 goals (0.87 goals per match)

Longest unbeaten streak is 7 matches

Clean sheets 48%

Tottenham Hotspur (Domestic League):

Based on Barclays Premier League 2015/16 [statistics are taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 32 matches, won 17, drawn 11, lost 4 and currently have 62 points

Scored 51 goals (1.78 goals per match) and conceded 41 goals (0.78 goals per match)

Longest unbeaten streak is 14 matches

Clean sheets 34%

Top Scorers (all competitions):

Manchester United: 14 – Wayne Rooney, 13 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Juan Mata, 7 – Memphis Depay, 6 – Ander Herrera, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, 4 – Own Goal, 2 – Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, 1 – Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger

Tottenham Hotspur: 25 – Harry Kane, 9 – Erik Lamela, 8 – Christian Eriksen, 7 – Dele Alli, Nacer Chadli, 6 – Son Heung-min, 4 – Mousa Dembélé, Eric Dier, 3 – Toby Alderweireld, Tom Carroll, 2 – Ryan Mason, 1 – Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Manchester United Form: WWDDLL

Last Six Matches (all competitions): Everton 1-0 W, Manchester City 1-0 W, Liverpool 1-1 D, West Ham United 1-1 D, Liverpool 2-0 L, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 L

Tottenham Hotspur Form: DWLWLD

Last Six Matches (all competitions): Liverpool 1-1 D, Bournemouth 3-0 W, Borussia Dortmund 2-1 L, Aston Villa 2-0 W, Borussia Dortmund 3-0 L, Arsenal 2-2 D

Head to Head:

Played 23 matches at White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 12, Drawn 8, Lost 3 – Scored 38 goals, conceded 25 goals and kept 9 clean sheets

Tottenham Hotspur: Won 3, Drawn 8, Lost 12 – Scored 25 goals, conceded 38 goals and kept 3 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Louis van Gaal

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 20. Sergio Romero, 40. Joel Castro Pereira, 50. Sam Johnstone;

Defenders: 4. Phil Jones, 5. Marcos Rojo, 12. Chris Smalling, 23. Luke Shaw, 30. Guillermo Varela, 33. Paddy McNair, 36. Matteo Darmian, 37. Donald Love, 38. Axel Tuanzebe, 41. Regan Poole, 43. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, 49. Joe Riley;

Midfielders: 8. Juan Mata, 11. Adnan Januzaj, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Daley Blind, 18. Ashley Young, 21. Ander Herrera, 25. Antonio Valencia, 27. Marouane Fellaini, 28. Morgan Schneiderlin, 31. Bastian Schweinsteiger, 35. Jesse Lingard, 44. Andreas Pereira, 47. James Weir;

Strikers: 7. Memphis Depay, 9. Anthony Martial, 10. Wayne Rooney, 39. Marcus Rashford, 48. Will Keane

Doubts/Injuries: 3. Luke Shaw (broken leg), 10. Wayne Rooney (knee), 11. Adnan Januzaj (hamstring), 31. Bastian Schweinsteiger (MCL knee ligament), 49. Will Keane (groin) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Tottenham Hotspur Squad:

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Goalkeepers: 1. Hugo Lloris, 13. Michel Vorm, 31. Luke McGee;

Defenders: 2. Kyle Walker, 3. Danny Rose, 4. Toby Alderweireld, 5. Jan Vertonghen, 16. Kieran Trippier, 27. Kevin Wimmer, 33. Ben Davies;

Midfielders: 6. Nabil Bentaleb, 8. Ryan Mason, 11. Érik Lamela, 15. Eric Dier, 19. Mousa Dembélé, 20. Dele Alli, 22. Nacer Chadli, 23. Christian Eriksen, 25. Joshua Onomah, 28. Tom Carroll, 29. Harry Winks;

Strikers: 7. Son Heung-min, 10. Harry Kane, 14. Clinton N’Jie

Doubts/Injuries: 5. Jan Vertonghen (MCL), 6. Nabil Bentaleb (knee), 11. Érik Lamela (calf), 14. Clinton N’Jie  (knee) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Score Prediction:

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW