This weekend features a huge match-up between two title hopefuls. On Sunday, Manchester United will travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur. These two currently sit second and third in the Premier League behind leaders Manchester City. If Tottenham hope to stay relevant and have a chance at the Premier League title, they must win this game on Sunday.
Tottenham are currently 10 points behind Manchester City and eight points behind Manchester United in the Premier League. However, this season White Hart Lane has provided a good home-field advantage for Spurs. At home this season, Tottenham has an impressive record of 10-2-1 with a positive 19 goal-differential. Tottenham are hoping to rebound after receiving one of their worst losses to Arsenal, where they were defeated 5-2. In an interview with Spurs TV online, Emmanuel Adebayor spoke of this upcoming game saying, “If you want to be champions these games against the likes of Manchester United are the kind of games we have to be winning.” Tottenham will have a hard time finding a tougher game than playing Manchester United after a humiliating loss.
Manchester United, on the other hand, has had a good string of results recently. Since their Jan. 4 loss to Newcastle United, Manchester United have only dropped two points when the tied Chelsea. United have also boasted an impressive away record this season with a 9-3-1 record. They currently sit two points behind leaders City, and are hoping to keep the pressure on their city rivals with a win. A loss does not drop them out of title reach, but it would significantly damper their chances of catching Manchester City with the way City have been playing this season. A player that will need to have a huge impact for United to get the win will be Wayne Rooney. This season in the Premier League, he has played in 22 games and tallied 17 goals with three assists. He is the main playmaker on a United team that is lacking some skilled players. If they have any chance on Sunday, Rooney will have to come up big.
The first time these teams met this season, United won at home 3-0 with goals by Danny Welbeck, Anderson, and Wayne Rooney. Both teams have had their ups-and-downs since that game and I am suspecting this match will be much closer. Over the past six Premier League matches, both sides have been averaging very close games. The average score for United has been 2.3-1 and the average score for Tottenham has been 2.2-1.7. Therefore, I am expecting a very closely contested game, unlike the 3-0 United victory in their first encounter. I am going to give the slight edge to Tottenham in this match. Coming off a bad defeat and the fact they are playing at home, I expect a 2-1 victory for Tottenham that will keep them in the race for the Premier League title.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
Credit to The Independent for the Adebayor quote.
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