Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United: Five Key Battles

Five key battles for the Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane.

Spurs are one of the only sides to win at Old Trafford this season and they will be hunting a vital double. United know they must win to maintain their gap over Manchester City.

Michael Dawson v Robin Van Persie

Dawson is the reliable and savvy centre back that AVB will want to keep Van Persie quiet throughout the match. Dawson has to remain very disciplined because Van Persie showed against Liverpool how good he is at manipulating defenders.

Kyle Naughton v Antonio Valencia

Kyle Naughton will have his work cut out to keep Antonio Valencia quiet down the right hand side of the United attack. Valencia should get the nod after Ashley Young’s poor display against Liverpool. Both players are extremely quick so it could be a battle of wits over anything else.

Scott Parker v Tom Cleverley

Scott Parker could be in line for one of his first starts to returning to first team duty for Spurs from injury. If he does play then he needs to be all over cleverly like a rash, trying to intimidate him and sticking his foot in where possible to rough up the United youngster.

Gareth Bale v Rafael

Bale will target the United full back without a shadow of a doubt. He is quick enough and good enough to routinely get the better of Rafael but United may double up and force Bale down towards the corner flag where he is slightly less effective.

Jermain Defoe v Rio Ferdinand

Best of friends and the best of enemies. Defoe will try to use his pace and movement to force Ferdinand into a mistake which gives him the space to get a decent shot away. Ferdinand needs to give himself an extra yard to make sure he doesn’t expose the rest of the defence and the goalkeeper.

What do you think of our key battles? Are there any you would change?

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