Spurs Bid Farewell to White Hart Lane in Final Home Game of The Season
Last updated: May 11, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||White Hart Lane|
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1 (HD, Ultra HD)|
|Last Meeting:||Man Utd 1 – 0 Tottenham|
|Competition:||English Premier League|
Tottenham Hotspur’s final game at White Hart Lane after 118 years will have more of a testimonial feel to it than both managers would have liked when the fixture computer spat this one out last summer. With United’s league campaign virtually over, and Spurs’ slip up at West Ham all-but costing them the title, bidding farewell to The Lane is what Sunday will be about now for the home support.
Even the most emphatic of Sky Sports pundit would struggle to spin this one as anything other than a dead rubber. If Chelsea wrap up the title on Friday night – which we all expect them to do – away at West Brom, and United are either through to Europa League final, elated and tired, or have blown a 1-0 away lead against a side 12th in La Liga, dismayed and unmotivated, this game has about as much riding on it as the Eurovision Song Contest.
At least Spurs are bringing a fitting support act for this, their final performance in a theatre dating back to 1899. The last time Manchester United were cast in one of these send-off shows it ended in a dramatic 3-2 defeat to West Ham United at Upton Park at the end of last season. A series of celebrations will take place before and after the game on Sunday, I just hope the bit in the middle brings enough entertainment to complete a spectacle that over the years has given us Gascoigne, Hoddle, Ginola and Bobby Zamora.
Mourinho has the ability to shut down stronger, ‘bigger’ sides as he has proved against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool this year. Pochettino, though, has a more settled side than those who have been out-witted by Jose so far, and Spurs can play in several formations equally well. United will try to stifle this one, but can they hold back the party atmosphere of the last day at school? We’ll wait and see.
With no fresh injury concerns, Pochettino’s selection decisions come down to form. Kyle Walker was awful against West Ham and may be dropped for this one.
Mousa Dembele could return to the Spurs midfield after in an attempt to counter Pogba and Herrera with extra muscle.
Jose Mourinho once again hinted he would be playing a weakened XI in this one with more focus on the Europa League.
Marcus Rashford would be an unlikely candidate to play if he completes 90 minutes against Celta Vigo on Thursday night.
|Tottenham (4-5-1):||Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembélé, Wanyama; Eriksen, Dele, Son; Kane|
|Subs:||Janssen, Vorm, Nkoudou, Sissoko, Walker, Wimmer|
|Injured:||Rose, Winks, Lamela, Carter-Vickers|
|Manchester United (4-3-3):||De Gea; Tuanzebe, Smalling, Jones, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Rooney; Mata, Martial, Mkhitaryan|
|Subs:||Bailly, Pogba, Lingard, Blind, Rashford, Romero, McTominay|
|Injured:||Rojo, Shaw, Fellaini, Ibrahimovic, Fosu-Mensah|
So Far This Season
|Tottenham Hotspur This Season||Manchester United This Season|
|23 (7)||Wins (away)||17 (10)|
|5-0 vs. Swansea||Biggest Win||3-0 vs. Sunderland|
|8 (6)||Draws (away)||14 (4)|
|0-2 vs. Liverpool||Biggest Defeat||0-4 vs. Chelsea|
|Kane (21)||Top Goal Scorer||Ibrahimovic (17)|
|Y60, R0||Discipline||Y72, R2|
|5||Failures to Score||6|
|43%||Both Teams to Score Games||51%|
|49%||Over 2.5 Goals||34%|
|51%||Under 2.5 Goals||66%|
- Dele Alli has a knack for bursting out of the blocks and has been sensational for Spurs this season. Back him to score first at 5/1 against a tired, leggy United defence.
- There’s a couple of nice specials around for this game. Man United to win to nil at 7/1 covers your classic Mourinho job, and a repeat of Spurs’ collapse against West Ham.
- Tottenham could really go for this if they buy into the whole ‘last game at The Lane’ vibe. The home side are 7/2 to win both halves.
- If Rashford plays in Europe and is rested, and with Zlatan out, Anthony Martial could be United’s only option in attack. The French striker is 3/1 to score at any time.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|11/12/2016||English Premier League||Manchester United 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur||Mkhitaryan 29′|
|10/04/2016||English Premier League||Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 0 Manchester United||Alli 70′|
|08/08/2015||English Premier League||Manchester United 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur||Walker OG 22′|
|15/03/2015||English Premier League||Manchester United 3 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur||Fellaini 9′|
|28/12/2014||English Premier League||Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 0 Manchester United||—|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
In the betting markets, a home win for Spurs is almost a given here, but you’ll find little value out there, 7/10 the best price I could find. The away win is going for around 17/4 if you fancy a classic Mourinho upset, but I think the price accurately represents the slim chance of United getting a result after playing on Thursday night. United won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Old Trafford, and there is temptation to back another low scoring affair, but that was back in December and there are too many other factors at play here to use that result as a barometer.
The atmosphere in the ground will no doubt be electric, and if that seeps onto the pitch I can see a higher scoring affair. When the pressure is off, I tend to look towards the goals market, and Over 3.5 Goals at 12/5 is a great price for a game that could easily descend into a Premier League classic. However, I just can’t see past a Spurs win. Even if Mourinho tries to stifle this one, I’m not sure he’ll have the personnel to do it effectively. Bet365 is offering odds of 7/4 for a Spurs win and Over 2.5 Goals in the game, and is my bet of the week.