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Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United: 3 things to watch out for | Premier League 2018-19

Subhadeep Roy
ANALYST
Feature
3.57K   //    09 Jan 2019, 19:56 IST

Tottenham beat United 3-0 at Old Trafford
Tottenham beat United 3-0 at Old Trafford

Tottenham face Manchester United at the Wembley on Sunday in a very crucial Premier League match. United have performed exceedingly well under their new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and won their last 4 matches. They now have 38 points from 21 matches, of which 12 have come from the last 4. However, Sunday’s match would be their first against a big team under Solskjaer and they need to perform well in that one.

Tottenham, on the other hand, have 48 points from 21 matches and would have to beat United on Sunday in order to remain in the title race. They are still 2 points behind second-placed Manchester City and 6 behind league leaders Liverpool. However, that deficit is not insurmountable and Mauricio Pochettino's side would like to believe that they can still win the title.

We would now take a look at the top 3 things to watch out for on Sunday:

1.  An intense midfield battle

Nemanja Matic must play at a high level for United
Nemanja Matic must play at a high level for United

Both the teams have a very strong midfield and an intense battle in the midfield is on the cards on Sunday. United have Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera as their defensive midfielders and both have performed well in the last few matches. Matic would have to stay in his own half as much as possible and shield United’s defence.

Matic is also a bit slow in his approach and might be troubled by the quick pressing of Tottenham forwards like Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Herrera would also have to involve himself in midfield tussles with his Tottenham counterparts Moussa Sissoko and Eric Dier.

Christian Eriksen, the midfield playmaker of Tottenham, is also likely to cause some problems to the Herrera and Matic pair. Herrera would have to pay special attention to him and not allow him to play the through passes with ease. Moreover, Dier also has the tendency to play box-to-box at times and might give the United midfielders a tough time.

Paul Pogba should play a very pivotal role on Sunday with his foraying runs to the Tottenham penalty box and should keep at least one of Tottenham’s defensive midfielders busy. Sissoko is likely to keep him in check with his tight marking and hard tackles.

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Subhadeep Roy
ANALYST
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