Having been out-played and humiliated by title-chasing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, November 24, Tottenham Hotspur fans may have looked forward hoping to face one of the form-struggling sides in the bottom half of the Premier League.
However, there is to be no such respite as Spurs are tasked with the challenge of tackling the Manchester United, themselves looking to use the North Londoners as the opportune side to defeat in order to send a message to the rest of the teams in the division… that, despite their inability to hold on to a win against Cardiff City, they can still dispose of the league's marquee clubs.
Fearless defender Jan Vertonghen, 26, believes: 'it is a good thing we play Manchester United next.'
Vertonghen has participated in every single minute of Premier League action available to the Lilywhites thus far this season, has completed 90% of his tackling attempts, completed 45 clearances and made 21 interceptions.
If Spurs are to contain a United team with a strong attack, led by tireless worker Wayne Rooney, then Vertonghen will have to produce a five-star performance, something he sounds fully confident of doing as facing United so soon after the City humbling is 'not a big problem' as the team can rely on the support of their 12th man at White Hart Lane; the club's vocal supporters.
'We are at home and we have the support of our crowd. I am sure we can win that game. It is not a big problem. Of course we didn't play well against City but we are better than that [and] can solve the problem. We will talk and bounce back on Sunday [versus United].'
Spurs, though, have a fixture before the United clash, as they travel to Norway to take on Tromso in the Europa League on Thursday. It is likely, however, that Andre Villas-Boas will field a weakened selection as, with four wins already registered in Group K, they dominate the group and are five points ahead of Anzhi Makhachkala, in second place.
United, meanwhile, have an extra days rest for Sunday's showdown as their midweek European match is sooner, as they take on Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena in Germany. Despite currently atop of their group, their position in Group A of the Champions League is tighter than Tottenham's in the Europa, and so David Moyes does not have the luxury of resting players.
image: © wonker