After suffering an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Manchester City this weekend, the last thing Tottenham Hotspur wanted was to play Manchester United tomorrow.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side currently sit ninth in the Premier League and are without a win since the end of October.
A win would the most welcome gift for the North London – but odds, stats and facts are stacked against them.
They haven’t beaten the Red Devils at home since May 2001, when Willem Korsten scored twice in a 3-1 Premier League victory.
Furthermore, United have only lost to Spurs once in the sides’ last 28 meetings, that defeat coming at Old Trafford last season.
But the main worry for Andre Villas-Boas is goals. His side have failed to score in three successive league matches for the first time since January 2009. They last went four matches without scoring in August-September 2006.
Excluding a penalty, they have not scored with any of their last 78 shots in the Premier League according to and prior to the weekend matches, only Sunderland and Crystal Palace had scored fewer than Tottenham’s nine league goals.
Because of these stats, few are predicting a Spurs win tomorrow lunchtime. But I have come with five reasons why the North London side will beat United.
1. Spurs hit form in December
Spurs were in a similar situation this time last year. They had lost three games in November and thinks weren’t looking the best heading into the December fixture list.
However, they only lost one game out of six in December last year, drawing one and winning the other four.
But this wasn’t just a one off. The North London outfit have only lost two of their last 20 games in December, whilst they haven’t lost at home in the month since 2009.
Andre Villas-Boas will hope that this will be their lucky month again this season and results in the Christmas period will send them back into top four contention.
2. United will be complacent
After seeing their city rivals thrash Tottenham last weekend, United will be full of confidence for their visit to White Hart Lane.
Of course they will be reminded of their loss to Spurs at Old Trafford last season, but the Red Devils will know they are the favourites tomorrow.
The facts that I mentioned earlier in the article will only add to their confidence as well as the fact that they have a decent record in December.
It could be this confidence that proves to be their downfall and they may think that the game is won before kick-off. Spurs could take advantage of this and catch United by surprise.
3. Spurs are eager to show that they are still a good team
Although Manchester City are one of the best teams in the division, 6-0 is by far not the scoreline Andre Villas-Boas wanted to come away from Manchester with.
Following the result, many fans and pundits alike have already written them off four the top four, despite there still being 26 games to play.
So if Spurs want to prove their critics and doubters wrong, tomorrow’s game against the Champions would be the perfect time to do it.
It would prove that they can still beat the best in the division and can fight for silverware. If they do win, they would leapfrog United, proving that just one bad defeat doesn’t lead to a crisis.
4. United can’t keep clean sheets away from home
One positive for Spurs to take into the game is that they will probably end their goal drought with United’s recent record away from home.
Although they are winning the games, getting a clean sheet is a problem, with the Red Devils conceded at least one goal in each of their last nine Premier League away games, their worst streak since an 11-match run between August 2002 and January 2003.
This will give Spurs confidence that they can score goals and possibly keep a lead. Before last weekend, they had only conceded six goals in 11 games and at the moment they have kept the most clean sheets in the division – seven.
5. Spurs’ loss at City has motivated them
Similar to my third point, Spurs’ loss at the Etihad Stadium has made them more enthusiastic to bounce in style against United.
Some teams may react badly to the game but defender Jan Vertonghen has claimed this week that the loss last weekend has “motivated” Spurs to get three points on Sunday.
The Belgian added in his interview that the players want to play well for the fans, who endured a horror show last weekend and saw them team fall behind after just 15 seconds.
It showed on Thursday night against Tromso that they wanted to bounce back and Spurs fans will hope that the comeback continues in tomorrow’s game.
This article will also be published on Touchline Talk (the website I write for) later today. I would really appreciate it if you took a few minutes to look at my other articles. Recent stories I have written include Basel’s Champions League hero wanting to move to England and three key battles for Tottenham vs Manchester United. My profile can viewed here: http://www.touchlinetalk.com/author/olly-allen/.
Thank You. Another post may be up today on here as well.