Tottenham Hotspur hold slight edge over Manchester United in this collision

Two contrasting philosophies will be on display at White Hart Lane as a coveted spot in the league's top four will probably go to the victor, writes Jonathan Wilson.
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, right, vies with Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan during their English Premier League football match at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, right, vies with Leicester City's English defender Wes Morgan during their English Premier League football match at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS

Two teams in transition, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, appear to be settling down.

Both have new managers with clearly defined styles that have taken time to instil, both started the season erratically and both have found a run of form.

Tottenham go into Sunday’s meeting at White Hart Lane having won their past three in the league and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup, while United have won seven and drawn one of their past eight.

Although United’s run is longer and they sit five points above Spurs in the table, and although they have the more established and glamorous names, there is a strange sense that Tottenham’s surge of form, based on 2-1 wins as it is, is more convincing.

United have been winning games through the brilliance of David de Gea in goal and some fine finishing rather than by any great cohesive play between the two penalty areas.

But Spurs, while still uneasy defensively and ludicrously reliant on the 21-year-old Harry Kane up front, have more obviously taken on board their manager’s tactical demands. United have, in mitigation, a long injury list, which, as it shrunk because of returning defenders, is now eating away at midfield resources. Angel Di Maria, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera are all likely to miss out.

Sunday’s game is important in the race for the top four, but it also is fascinating in terms of pitting against each other two of the division’s form sides and two emerging philosophies.

English Premier League fixtures

Sunday (in UAE time)

Tottenham v Man Utd, 4pm

Southampton v Chelsea, 6.05pm

Aston Villa v Sunderland, 7pm

Hull City v Leicester City, 7pm

Man City v Burnley, 7pm

QPR v Crystal Palace, 7pm

Stoke City v West Brom, 7pm

West Ham v Arsenal, 7pm

Newcastle v Everton, 8.15pm

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

SHARE