Tottenham Hotspur hold slight edge over Manchester United in this collision
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
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Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM