Big Match Focus: Tottenham vs Manchester United

All eyes will be on Alexis Sanchez as he makes his Premier League debut for Manchester United against familiar foe Tottenham.

Focus will be on Manchester United's new signing Alexis Sanchez and Tottenham Hotspur's talisman Harry Kane.

Manchester United appears to have put a festive stumble behind it as it heads to Wembley with a new star signing and a run of three successive Premier League victories.

Having debuted away to Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, Alexis Sanchez's first Premier League appearance since his switch from Arsenal will fittingly come against a familiar opponent in the shape of old rival Tottenham.

The 29-year-old was on target in the last north London derby but, with just six other league goals to his name this term, doubters are queueing to claim he is in decline.

It is all set up for Sanchez to prove the naysayers wrong against a Spurs side that sits two points outside the top four and is yet to truly get going in 2018.

Harry Kane, however, has a penchant for the stealing the headlines.


With the spotlight firmly on Sanchez, Tottenham will need to be wary of letting an in-form Anthony Martial slip under the radar. The France forward has been on target in each of his three league appearances this year, the first time he has managed three on the trot in the Premier League.


But he will need to overcome a dry spell in London, where he has only scored in one of his previous 10 top-flight fixtures. Martial's capacity to maintain his current form could determine the level of pressure that is heaped on Sanchez at the outset of his United career.


United is unbeaten in its last eight Premier League games, the longest current run in the competition. But Tottenham has won its last two home league games against United. Not since September 1966 has the side won three such matches on the spin.

Kane has had a hand in four goals in his last four Premier League games against teams managed by Jose Mourinho.

Tottenham has long since been a favourable opponent for United. Only against Aston Villa (85) and Arsenal (82) has it claimed more league wins than it has against Spurs (80).

PLAYER HEAD-TO-HEAD (Harry Kane and Alexis Sanchez)

As Kane and Sanchez prepare to do battle, it should come as no surprise that the former, who can find the net for the 100th time in the Premier League in this game, has the edge in terms of goals this season.

Fiery Sanchez can spark United, says Herrera

Kane has 21 league goals to Sanchez's seven having started five more games. The England international averages 6.11 shots per game to Sanchez's 4.12.

Where Sanchez has excelled is as a playmaker. The Chile star has created 51 chances in 2017-18, while Kane has set up just 24. Despite that differential, Sanchez has only recorded two more assists than Kane. Sanchez has laid on three assists and Kane has provided just one.



...the visitor will shade it.

United is in form and should feel comfortable at Wembley, where it has won six straight games. Spurs, meanwhile, has picked up just three points from its five games against the league's other big six members this season.

Despite that concern, Mauricio Pochettino will still have belief in his ability to outwit his opposite number.

The Argentinian has won two and drawn one of his last three Premier League home games against Jose Mourinho, including a 2-1 victory in this exact fixture last season.

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