Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Old Trafford, Manchester
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 – 5.30pm kick-off
Live on BT Sport
Tottenham’s first game of 2014 sees them head north to face Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day.
The north London side are going through changes after Andre Villas-Boas’ dismissal, with the team’s last trip to Manchester and a 6-0 defeat to City one of the key reasons the Portuguese manager was shown the door.
However, with Tim Sherwood now at the helm things are looking up for the White Hart Lane outfit, with seven points from their last three games, including a dominant 3-0 win over Stoke last time out.
Spurs will be buoyed by their 3-2 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, with goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey ending a 23-year wait for three points at Old Trafford.
Despite Tottenham’s hit-and-miss start to the campaign, the side have performed better away from home than at White Hart Lane. Six wins from nines games on the road has provided respite to faltering home form. The travelling support will hope the visitors can hit their opponents on the break, with a positive result the perfect tonic and much-needed in the quest for Champions League qualification.
Both sides are on 34 points ahead of the game, and win here could lift Spurs as high as fifth place.
United have been strangely complacent at home this term, with the likes of West Brom, Everton and Newcastle all good value for their shock victories at the home of the champions.
The hosts will be without attacking talisman Robin van Persie for the clash, as the Dutch striker is still on the treatment table nursing an injury. Wayne Rooney missed the trip to Norwich but should make a return here, and is likely to partner the in-form Danny Welbeck, who hit the winner at Carrow Road.
David Moyes will hope the turn of the year can see an upturn in the club’s fortunes, with the bedding-in period now complete, and the United fans are keen to see a run of positive results. This has seemingly already begun, with four wins on the trot for the Manchester outfit.
The arrival of 2014 will also allow the Scottish manager to bolster his squad during the transfer window, and the clash against Spurs will be another opportunity for the ex-Everton man to weigh up just where he needs reinforcements.
United dropped four points against Tottenham last season, but up until then had a positive record against the London outfit, and will look to reintroduce their dominance with three points here.
With things looking decidedly tight at the top of the table at the moment, three points for either side can see them jump up the standings and close in on the top four with the second half of the campaign underway.
The match is live on BT Sport in the UK. As well as showing exclusively live Premier League games, BT Sport also offer action from Europe’s top leagues including the Bundesliga and Serie A. For details in how to sign up for BT Sport, click here.