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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Manchester United, 13.01.2019

· Last season's game - Spurs 2 Man Utd 0, 31.01.18
· This season's away game - Man Utd 0 Spurs 3, 27.08.18
· This week - last year
· What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 22 2017-18

· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League Record of Man Utd v Spurs

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          26   6   8  12   32 -39  26
Away          27   3   3  21   16 -51  12
Total (Prem)  53   9  11  33   48 -90  38
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  51  20  19  12   89 -64  63
Away (Div 1)  51   9   9  33   55 -101 28
Total(Div 1) 102  29  28  45  144 -165 91
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   4   2   1   1   10 - 3   5
Away (Div 2)   4   1   2   1    3 - 3   4
Total(Div 2)   8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
Total (Prem)  53   9  11  33   48 -90  38
Total (Div 1) 102 29  28  45  144 -165 91
Total (Div 2)  8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
Grand Total   163 41  42  80  205 -261 135

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    WWWWLW
Leicester  0-2    Spurs
Spurs      1-0    Burnley
Everton    2-6    Spurs
Spurs      5-0    B'mouth
Spurs      1-3    Wolves
Cardiff    0-3    Spurs

Man Utd    -    WLWWWW

Man Utd    4-1    Fulham
Liverpool  3-1    Man Utd
Cardiff    1-5    Man Utd
Man Utd    3-1    Hds'field
Man Utd    4-1    B'mouth
Newcastle  0-2    Man Utd

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
3. Spurs     21 16  0  5  46-21  25   48 
6. Man Utd   21 11  5  5  43-32  11   38

Ole's first big test

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces his first big test of his fledgling (and possibly temporary) career as the "Red Devils" manager when he brings his team to Wembley for Sunday's 4.30pm kick-off. By his own admission, Solskjaer has admitted as much and said this week (about Spurs) "They are a top, top side and if we want to get close to them or go past them we will need a good result".

United have had a free week, and went to Dubai for warm weather training. Defender Phil Jones, who was in England's World Cup squad last summer had been largely left on the margins by Jose Mourinho, but has played 90 minutes in 4 of the games under Solskjaer's management, coming off the bench at Newcastle where the club got their first clean sheet under this new regime.

Jones too recognises the challenge before United and he said this week, “Spurs is a good test. We are in good form and have some momentum going. We have steadied the ship a bit.

“We have not achieved anything, but we need to keep it going. Possibly Spurs will be an indicator for us and how far we can go, but it is a game we need to win.

“They are in good form and doing well and we need to have a good week, train well and prepare for a tough game. Hopefully the momentum can carry us on to win that match.”

Paul Pogba, who had suffered at St James' Park due to an un-punished Jonjo Shelvey tackle, missed the Reading FA Cup tie, but will be ready for action on Sunday.

By winning his first five games in charge, Solskjaer has emulated no less a man (a true legend even) than Sir Matt Busby, who won his first 5 games in charge in 1946. Those 5 wins included a 5-0 drubbing of Liverpool, whose side included future manager Bob Paisley, who won more trophies than did the renowned Bill Shankly.

Solskjaer's five wins have been against 3 lowly teams (Cardiff, Huddersfield and Newcastle), an out of form Bournemouth, and a struggling Championship side - Reading - in the FA Cup.

It was a bad defeat at Anfield that ultimately led to Mourinho's departure, but Solskjaer and his team know they face a Tottenham side in top form, and one which has won their last two Premier League games against United and indeed three of the last four league meetings between the sides.

Our marvellous 3-0 away win in August was only our third away win in the Premier League at Old Trafford, and only our ninth such win at home and away against United. The fact that we have just won a third consecutive game against Chelsea coupled with our current record against United says everything about our form with Mauricio Pochettino at the helm. Like it or not, we cannot escape the continuing speculation linking Pochettino with Manchester United.

That 3-0 away win came very much courtesy of two goals by Lucas Moura, whose early season form helped us during a period when so many of our World Cup stars were struggling to get back in the swing. Harry Kane scored our first goal though with a header after he drew away from Jones. It was Kane, of course who scored the last goal by a Spurs player at White Hart Lane in May 2017 in "The Finale" nearly two years ago now. I had hoped for symmetry with this game opening the new stadium, but that was not to be and we now know we won't be in our new home before March.

Last year's home win over United was also played in January, courtesy of a goal scored by Christian Eriksen in just 10.56 seconds and an own goal scored by that man Phil Jones with Harry Kane lurking. That match was played in front of a record Premier League crowd of 81,978, and Sunday's game will be in front of an uncapped audience. I doubt it will reach those proportions though, with so many Spurs fans now reluctant to travel to Wembley.

This will be Son Heung-min's last game before he joins South Korea for the Asian Cup being played in the U.A.E. "Sonny" will be badly missed especialy after his seven goals in his last seven games for the club. Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier have returned to training with the squad, and I suspect Vertonghen is closer to a recall than Dier. The outfield team will not differ much from that which faced Chelsea on Tuesday, but I expect to see Hugo Lloris in goal. Harry Kane will be looking for a goal in a seventh consecutive game.

Spurs' third place is not at risk this week, whatever the result, but of course a win is vital to maintain the title challenge upon Liverpool and Manchester City, and to maintain distance over our chasers. We will know the Liverpool result (away to Brighton) by the time we play and on Monday night City face a potentially tricky game against Wolves, who did hold them to a draw in the reverse fixture. City are in spectacular form though having scored 16 goals (without reply) in their last two cup games, which were against lower league teams.

Solskjaer's side failed to keep a clean sheet in his first three games, but they did score quite freely in those games. I expect a quite open and attacking game on Sunday, and I am optimistic, with a prediction of a 3-1 win for Spurs!

After an intense period of 15 games in the last seven games, Spurs can at last look forward to a midweek free of football before their next game at Craven Cottage on the following Sunday.

Sunday's match referee will be Mike Dean, who is the most experienced of all the Premier League officials. On Tuesday against Chelsea we had Michael Oliver in the middle and we have seen more of these two referees than any other in the last 9 years. This will be Mr. Dean's fourth game in charge of Spurs already this season. Two of those were wins. The last of his games with us was the league defeat away to Arsenal.

· "It was Twenty Years ago today!" - On 16th January, 1999, Spurs played the first of no less than 5 games against Wimbledon in a spell of 8 fixtures. It was the first of two goal-less draws.

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