WILL DYER (@w2dyer) has the honour of previewing Tottenham's last game at White Hart Lane. The title has been won but can Spurs find it in themselves to say farewell to White Hart Lane in the right fashion?
Tottenham v Manchester United | Sunday 16:30 | Sky Sports 1
Sunday represents a chance for Spurs to go out on a high. It promises to be a thoroughly emotive afternoon as Tottenham play their last ever game at White Hart Lane but also in appreciation of one of the best Spurs teams to grace the top flight, they gave Chelsea a good run for their money. In every sense.
Mauricio Pochettino has overseen 13 consecutive Premier League wins at the famous old ground. Hosting and beating England’s biggest club would be a fitting way to bow out of this season.
There’s been a lot of harsh words directed at Spurs in the last week or so but in reality, this is a young manager and a young squad. This success has been built in an extremely professional manner and if the current style of management continues, I can only foresee ever-greater achievements.
As for United, the home draw with Celta Vigo on Thursday night was scrappy but effective and saw them progress through to the Europa League final on the 24th of May against Ajax.
United have had more drab performances than I care to count this season but ultimately they are one game away from Champions League qualification and a trophy that’s not in their cabinet.
That’s Jose Mourinho’s first season at Old Trafford summed up. The Portuguese has manufactured a resolute defence, one of the best in the business, and that has given them the tools to succeed but it’s also not the United ‘way’. It would have frustrated more fans had it not succeeded a period of abject failure.
The Red Devils have the benefit of knowing all of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool’s weekend results before they kick-off. Having a game in hand over the Scousers could mean that they still stand a chance of finishing third depending on the outcomes of their top-four rivals.
Regardless, it’s plain for all to see that Mourinho is focusing on the Europa League, albeit while incorporating some mind games into that. Their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal is a tricky one to analyse, it took a wild shot plus a good helping of luck for Granit Xhaka to open the scoring and in many ways the visitors were the better side.
If they field the same eleven that they did at Emirates, they’ll be a tough nut for Spurs to crack. There are some brilliant footballers in that side but it’s also a line-up that includes a few players that are out of favour.
United have still lost just four league games this season, the same number as Spurs, but with the current priorities I’m changing my tune from last weekend. Spurs are 5/6 to win this one, I can’t argue with that based on their home form, and the desire there is throughout the club to say farewell in the right way.
I’m keeping it simple and siding with a team that certainly has the ability to unlock United’ steadfast approach to big games. Tottenham should win this, finishing as they mean to go on and setting up an exciting new era for the club.
Tottenham v Manchester United – Tottenham to win (5/6 Betfair)