However, United have been criticised on more than one occasion this season for their sub-par performances whereas, in contrast, there is an evident air of optimism surrounding Spurs.
Mauricio Pochettino has done a fine job at White Hart Lane this season and the Argentine’s renowned trust and utilisation of the club’s younger players has paid dividends.
Among those to establish themselves as a first-team regular is Harry Kane, and his subsequent 16 Premier League goals has prompted Van Gaal to reserve special praise on his breakthrough.
"The way [Kane] is scoring is a reason for their success," Van Gaal said. “That's one aspect of the world of football that a big talent can stand up in one season and he is doing that.”
Are Spurs all about striker Harry Kane?
Harry Kane has played a huge role in the Lilywhites’ impressive campaign to date, but singling him out for praise is slightly unfair on a number of his teammates.
Fellow youngsters Eric Dier, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb have been mightily impressive and Danish international Christian Eriksen is arguably Spurs’ most talented player.
But the biggest praise should head to Pochettino, who after a difficult start stuck to his guns and proceeded to maintain his philosophy where many others would have panicked.
The visitors will head to Old Trafford and likely start with a side with an average age in the early twenties – an incredible feat considering how they’re only three points behind United who spent more than £150 million, as reported by talkSPORT, last summer.