Premier League: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur match preview

A look ahead to the New Year’s Day fixture at Old Trafford

After a hard-fought 1-0 victory away at Norwich last time out, Manchester United look to have gained some momentum heading into the New Year by winning their last four league games to take them up to sixth in the table, and only three points off fourth spot.

Meanwhile, since Tim Sherwood took over from Andre Villas Boas in the hot seat, Tottenham have bounced back from their 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool to win two and draw one as they sit level on points with the champions.

United will be hopeful to have Wayne Rooney, who scored both goals for United in the 2-2 against Spurs in the reverse fixture earlier this month, available after missing the trip to Carrow Road with a groin injury, and could well be further boosted by the return of Robin van Persie who has not featured since the 1-0 defeat at home to Newcastle. In his absence, Danny Welbeck has stepped up to the plate scoring four in as many matches, including the all-important winner against the Canaries.

For Tottenham, who won their first league game at Old Trafford last season for over two decades, it has been this position where they have struggled scoring only 22 goals in 19 games, thus demonstrating the void left by Gareth Bale in the summer. Spurs fans will be hoping Roberto Soldado can kick start his season in front of goal as he netted for the first time in the league since October against Stoke, however, an area of concern is that only one of the £30m player’s five league goals has not come from the penalty spot.

KICK-OFF: New Year's Day, 5:30pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Tottenham 2 (Walker, Sandro) Man United 2 (Rooney 2), Premier League, December 2013

Tottenham 1 (Dempsey) Man United 1 (van Persie), Premier League, January 2013

Man United 2 (Nani, Kagawa) Tottenham (Evans OG, Bale, Dempsey), Premier League, September 2012

STATS…

Man United:

Man United are undefeated in 28 of their last 29 matches against Tottenham in all competitions.

Wayne Rooney has the highest number of assists in the Premier League this season (9).

Sixth place is United’s lowest Premier League position after 19 games.

Tottenham:

Spurs have won their last three away games in the Premier League.

Tottenham, along with Swansea, were not awarded a single penalty last season, but they have more than any other side in 2013/14. However, Man United have not conceded a penalty in an of their last 76 Premier League games.

Although there is concern about Soldado’s form in front of goal, the Spaniard has assisted twice as many goals as any other Tottenham player this season (4).

ODDS…

Man United to win: 1.8

Tottenham to win:  4.75

Draw: 3.6

TV: Live on BT Sport 1 at 5:30pm. Highlights on BBC 1 at 10.50pm

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