Manchester United head into what seems to be their toughest match after the Manchester derby last year when they face Tottenham at Wembley later today. The Red Devils are still 12 points adrift league leaders, Manchester City but they have to show the world that they can still fight as there is over 20 games to go.
The first leg ended in a 1-0 win for Manchester United at Old Trafford in a match that had little chances created. This second fixture has more things to prove than the first leg. This is also going to be Alexis Sanchez first league appearance in the United jersey.
Firstly, this is the game Jose Mourinho has to reiterate his tactical prowess over Mauricio Pochettino. The Portuguese had one over his Argentine counterpart this season in the reverse fixture. Last season, Spurs won both legs and United will obviously not want a repeat of that.
The way Mourinho set out his team against an informed and free scoring Harry Kane-lead attack will be interesting to watch. The defensive setup have to be one that will be able to curtail not only Kane but also Son and Alli who have been informed lately.
There are 50 goals among those three players in all competition so far this season and United will hope that number those not increase this night.
Alexis Sanchez contract issues gave Arsenal no option but to sell him. United now taking him with the huge success the Chilean had had in the premier league shows he is still a quality player. Now, the 28-year-old has to prove his mentle to the United squad and fans.
He scored at the Emirates this season against Spurs in Arsenal 2-0 win and will want to increase his tally there. He has scored thrice at Wembley since moving to England, in the FA Cup final in 2015 against Aston Villa, the FA cup semi final against Manchester City and also against Chelsea in the final of the FA cup last season. So his record at Wembley is better than any other current United player.
The presence of Paul Pogba in the middle of the park also bring stability to the team. It will be so nice to see the link up play Pogba will have with Sanchez.
Also, recently Jose have found a way to suitably adapt Pogba to the team which has help United return to winning ways and scoring more goals. He plays in an advance role which makes him close to the box and assist more. Sanchez could be the jigsaw that will help close the gap on Manchester City.
This is a game that Lukaku also have a chance to add to his tally at the club. He has been criticised for not scoring against the big sides but with the aura at United right now, he has everything going for him to hit the back of the net tonight. It will be an interesting match to watch for the neutrals and also a match that has lot of goals to report after 90 minutes.