Football

Five talking points

1 




CAN TOTTENHAM KEEP UP THE PACE?

This is another crucial match for Spurs as they bid to win their first league title since 1961.

Mauricio Pochettino's side are already seven points off leaders Leicester - a gap that could stretch to 10 should Leicester triumph at Sunderland in tonight's early game.

Whatever the result at the Stadium of Light, it is likely to have a psychological impact on a Spurs side that cannot afford to falter.


2 




WILL MAN UNITED KEEP THEIR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUEST ON TRACK?

Louis van Gaal's men have endured some bumpy patches this season, leading the United boss' style and position to be questioned.

However, they could yet end the campaign in the Champions League after their last two wins.

It is vital for United to beat Tottenham keep up the pressure on neighbours and bitter rivals Manchester City.


3 




WILL VERTONGHEN BE RISKED?

Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen's partnership was so impressive this season that the latter's knee injury in late January had fans and pundits speculating whether it would derail Tottenham's title tilt.

Instead, Kevin Wimmer has stepped up and Spurs enter the final stages with the Premier League's tightest defence.

Vertonghen has resumed training and Pochettino needs to decide whether to risk him or stick with Wimmer.


4 




ARE YOUNGSTERS DELAYING ROONEY'S RETURN?

Wayne Rooney is edging closer to fitness, but van Gaal will not risk his captain at White Hart Lane.

Instead, the 30-year-old will play for the Under-21s tomorrow, giving United's young stars another chance to underline their credentials.

Jesse Lingard has impressed this term and Anthony Martial has netted three goals in his last four appearances, while Marcus Rashford is in line to make the 10th straight start of his career.


5 




CAN ERIC DIER KEEP HIS COOL?

Pochettino's decision to transform the defender into a combative midfielder has proved inspired.

Eric Dier has flourished since an unsteady debut in the position during the season-opener at Old Trafford, making him a shoo-in for England's Euro 2016 squad.

Dier is key to Tottenham's shape and heads into the crunch clash on nine yellow cards, knowing another booking will incur a two-match ban.

That would seriously dent Spurs' title hopes.


- PA Sport.


PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP

6: Tottenham’s Dele Alli has provided a league-high six assists in 2016.


3: Anthony Martial has scored three goals in his last four appearances for United in all competitions.

sportsFootballepltottenham hotspur