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VS

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Old Trafford

15th March 2015, 16:00 GMT

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The battle for a Champions League spot is heating up as two heavy weights clash to outdo one another. Ita s a tie between the Dutch veteran and the Argentine Tactician, who will emerge triumphant?

In the world of wrestling, fans everywhere were in awe as the monster big red machine Kane took on one of the most dangerous wrestlers to grace the ring, an imposter Kane. In all this confusion, it was later discovered the imposter Kane was another wrestler. However in a world of more realistic sports, the Premier League prepares for a fixture of a very similar nature. Kane faces a big red machine, however in this fixture Kane is backed by ten other world class players and the other big red machine has a Dutch wizard at their helm.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Van Gaal has off-late resorted to a back four as it has worked out well for him. He will look to maintain a 4-3-3 formation with Smalling and Jones as the chosen center back pairing. Marcos Rojo is yet to be confirmed fit to play after complaining of a groin strain. With Valenciaa s error in the game against Arsenal and eminent threat of the Spurs wingers, Van Gaal is likely to pick Brazilian Rafael for this fixture. Luke Shaw will complete the back four on the left hand side.

A three man midfield will include the likes of Herrera and Blind in a deeper role while Marouane Fellaini will play a slightly advanced role behind the striker. Fellaini will look to follow the striker and get into the box more often to use his height to advantage, while Herrera the deep lying playmaker will ensure a steady supply of through balls and passes to the attackers. Blind on the other hand will maintain a defensive line in midfield, and look to break any form of continuous play.

The three attacking players will consists of Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney and either Januzaj or Mata. The two wide attacking players will look to function as wingers providing Fellaini and Rooney the main striker with crosses. Ashley Young on the left and Mata/Januzaj on the right will also look to cut in and shoot on goal, playing on the opposite side of their preferred shooting leg.

Possible starting lineup (4-3-3): De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Hererra, Fellaini, Blind; Januzaj, Rooney, Young.

football formationsTottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino has to ensure his team qualifies 4th if he wishes to satisfy the high standards of Chairman Daniel Levy. With Lloris in goal, Pochettino seems to have found his best eleven and will look to keep the team unchanged for this fixture. Vertonghen and Dier will be the chosen central defenders. Vertongen preferred for his precise tackling and Dier for his pace and to deal with Fellainia s aerial threat. English duo Kyle Walker and Danny Rose will be the preferred right and left backs respectively.

Pochettinoa s 4-2-3-1 formation will see the duo of Bentaleb and Mason playing the deeper role. Bentaleb will sit back and retain possession while Mason will be the driving box to box midfielder who will defensively regain possession and also lead the counter attack. The duo have been in great form this season and have forged a strong partnership as they look to contain the threats offered by Herrera and Blind.

The three advanced midfield players will be Townsend on the right, Eriksen in the middle and Chadli on the left. Pochettino will look to use the reverse wingers to his advantage as both Townsend and Chadli have good shooting legs. Eriksen on the other hand will orchestrate the attack and will master all set pieces that Spurs win in and around the penalty box. The lone striker will be Tottenhama s golden boy Harry Kane. Boasting of a high work rate and exceptional skill, Kane will look to combine with the three advanced midfield players and threaten De Gea.

Possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Mason, Bentaleb; Townsend, Eriksen, Chadli; Kane.

Key Battles

De Gea vs Lloris

This fixture is sure to produce some end to end football, however if there is a reason why these two teams are in the place they are in, all credit goes to their respective goal keepers. De Gea has been sensational this season and with him in goal, United have ensured they did not succumb to very few embarrassing defeats this season. As the rumour of a move to Real Madrid brews in the background, David De Gea will look to ensure he keeps a clean sheet and extend his exceptional run in the league.

If there is one goal keeper who can compete with de Gea in the Premier League, it has to be Tottenham and French captain Hugo Lloris. Having saved Tottenham from the jaws of defeat and ensuring they have salvaged points where necessary, Lloris has been every strikera s nightmare. Having 6 clean sheets this season, only three shy of De Gea, there is no doubt he is only the second best in this game. However with the grit and determination the French man possesses, fans are in for a goal keeping treat in this fixture.

Herrera vs Mason

Two midfield players who will look to have maximum impact on their teams this fixture will be Ander Herrera and Ryan Mason. Herrera has scored 3 and has 3 assists this season. Being part of a large squad of talented players, Herrera will not only play for the benefit of his team but also to ensure he cements his spot in the starting eleven. With Michael Carrick returning from injury, Herrera will need to put in a remarkable performance to ensure his playing time isna t reduced.

Mason, on the other hand, has come into the side and ensured the midfield role is his alone. After having been discovered by Pochettino in a league cup game, Mason has since occupied the box to box midfield role beside Bentaleb ahead of Dembele, Paulinho, Capoue and Stambouli. Mason will look to out run the United midfield and intercept and break every bit of continuity in play from opposing side. Unlike the De Gea- Lloris battle, here Mason and Herrera will be face to face up against each other trying to outplay one another.

Rooney vs Kane

Wayne Rooney has been especially lucky against Tottenham, with a splendid goal scoring record against Spurs, Rooney will look to propel his side to a victory after 5 unlucky attempts. The top scorer of Manchester United with 10 goals in all competitions, will look to give Vertonghen and Dier trouble as he will look to show the world he still is Englanda s best striker.

Amongst the chants of a he is one of usa rises the man in form, Harry Kane. With more goals than the United attack put together (26, while United have Rooney 10, Van Persie 10, Falcao 4 and Powell 1) Kane comes into the fixture having won the Premier League player of the month award for the second time. Kane will look to show Roy Hodgson that he indeed is the striker England need and will also look to propel Spurs closer to 4th place.

Key Facts

  • Wayne Rooney has scored 7 goals in the last 8 games against Spurs
  • Harry Kane has scored in each of his last 6 Premier League away games
  • Tottenham have won 2 and drawn 3 in their last 5 games against the Red Devils, apart from Liverpool and Blackburn they are the only other side to have a 5 game unbeaten streak against united
  • United have earned 34 points in home games this season, second only to Chelseaa s 35
  • Tottenham have recovered 16 points from losing positions, more than any other Premier League team

Player to Watch

Harry Kane

Liverpool FC vs Tottenham Hotspur FChHarry Kane is only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Player of the Month award in back to back months. The youngster has been in blistering form as talks of an English call up gather momentum. Scoring 26 goals in all competitions, he only lags behind Messi and Ronaldo in Europe. Posing an aerial threat with a keen eye for goal, Harry Kane is all geared up to look for a third Player of the Month award as he tries to propel his side upwards in the league table.

Prediction

Manchester United 1 a 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have had the most number of 2-1 victories this season with either Kane or Eriksen coming to their rescue in the dying minutes of the game. However there is no doubt Manchester United as well have more than enough striking power on their side with the likes of Rooney, Mata, Januzaj and Hererra. However, with past track records going against them and a very unpredictable run this season, Tottenham seem to have the upper hand. Tottenham will first conceded to Rooney whilst in the second half Kane will score a brace to take three points for Tottenham.

Blast from the Past