Going back as far as the 1998/99 season this is the first time that Spurs have gone into a match with Man Utd as favourites and they are actually odds-on with most firms at the time of writing. It’s do or die in terms of Spurs’ title bid, particularly if Leicester have won on Saturday evening but even if they’ve not they must still close the gap with just five weeks remaining after this. For Man Utd it’s almost equally important to get something out of the game as they look to chase down City and Arsenal for a Champions League spot.
Spurs’ form since Christmas is 10 wins from 15 games but while they’ve been ruthless in putting away the weaker teams that includes a W1-D3-L2 record against the current top 12 as they’ve failed to keep a single clean sheet in those matches. It’s a surprising vulnerability given they’ve got the best defensive record this season but it’s been as evident at home as on the road. If anything it is their form at White Hart Lane that has allowed Leicester to go clear and Spurs have won just two of eight home games against the current top 12 all season (W2-D5-L1).
The news for United fans isn’t as positive when we examine their recent away form however. It’s just two wins in nine away days with four defeats and only two clean sheets. Nevertheless, they’ve generally raised their game at the league’s better sides, going W3-D2-L2 at the current top-half. Furthermore, they are on a decent run with four wins from their last five games, including over Arsenal and Man City, and while not prolific it’s important to note that for a team that’s struggled going forwards this term they’ve failed to score just twice in their last 12 games. The extra pace in attack with Lingard, Rashford and Martial certainly offers them a different threat compared to earlier in the campaign and we’d fancy them to score here.
Spurs have lost their last two meetings with United and have not scored in any of three since Van Gaal took over so they look too short here. Given we expect United to score they look good value on the Double Chance at 1.95, while should that happen it would also raise the chance of Over 2.5 Goals. 18 of Spurs’ last 21 home games when they’ve conceded have had at least three goals and they certainly shouldn’t be settling for a draw. Three of Spurs’ four home games this season against the current top six have had at least four goals and at 2.2 Over 2.5 Goals is a tempting price. However, we’d prefer Both Teams to Score at Evens given Spurs have failed to score just twice in 18 games and Harry Kane is in superb form with six goals in his last four games.
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