Tottenham Hotspur will face Manchester United at the White Hart Lane Sunday. This is a crucial game for both sides as the Spurs will look to reduce the gap between them and Leciester City, who are seven points clear at the top, and United will look to continue to push for that place in the top four.
The Spurs cannot afford to drop points as things will go out of their hand and their title race will be almost over if they lose to the Red Devils while Leicester City win against Sunderland in the other fixture.
Louis van Gaal might just be able to keep his job if he manages to push United into that top four and also get the FA Cup. It has been yet another disappointing season for the Reds, and at this moment, in order to make it to the top four, they have to do nothing but play their best game till the end of the current English Premier League (EPL) season.
United have won their last two EPL fixtures against Manchester City and Everton, but both victories were not comprehensive. However, one of them came against arch-rivals City, which helped them reduce the gap with the Blues of Manchester.
If United manage to beat Spurs at the White Hart Lane Sunday, they will be just one point behind City, who are currently in the fourth position.
The Red Devils did beat the Spurs once in this season, but at this moment, they are going to take on a much-improved version of Mauricio Pochettino's men. Harry Kane has been instrumental in the Spurs' success this season, having netted 22 goals. But they have other players who can hurt United as well and Van Gaal is aware of that.
"Harry Kane is, of course, a very good striker, but he hasn't scored against us. When I say that then I am challenging him also, so it is not so smart. Yes, Kane is important. But we defend also against the attack of Tottenham Hotspur because we have analysed them and [Christian] Eriksen and Dele Alli are also important," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the official website of Manchester United.
"Maybe I can start with [goalkeeper Hugo] Lloris, who does very quick set-plays, or [Toby] Alderweireld, who has a very good pass. It is the whole team that you have to solve, not just Harry Kane."
Meanwhile, Pochettino is wary of the current scenario. He knows they cannot afford to lose. He is hopeful his men will put up a spirited show Sunday against the Red Devils.
"I believe, I always believe. We have to win every game now, but I believe, when I see the players and the mentality that we have. If it is not possible, then it is not possible, that is football," Pochettino told the official website of the Spurs.
"But we are very confident and trust in ourselves. We are very strong. Football is a game you can win, lose or draw. But we believe. That is the most important thing."
Where to watch live:
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United is set to start at 3:00 p.m. GMT (8:30 p.m. IST, 4 p.m. BST, 12 p.m. ET). Live TV coverage of the match in India will be on Star Sports 2 and HD2,while the match can also be watched via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United will be shown live in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1,while the match can be live streamed on Watch Sky Sports.
NBCSN will broadcast the Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United EPL game live in the US, while the action can also be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra