Sports Mole looks at how title hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur could line up for their Premier League clash with Manchester United at Wembley.

How Tottenham Hotspur could line up against Manchester United

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  • 2019-01-11 17:10:08 11 months ago
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Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday knowing that victory would lift them back up to third in the Premier League table until at least Monday night.

Mauricio Pochettino has been heavily linked with the United job since Jose Mourinho's departure, but he comes up against one of his main challengers for the role in interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Spurs have won 15 of their last 18 outings across all competitions, including all three so far in 2019 without conceding.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how they could line up against the Red Devils.

Possible TOT XI vs. MNU

Out: Victor Wanyama (knee)
Doubtful: Jan Vertonghen (thigh), Eric Dier (appendix), Mousa Dembele (ankle), Lucas Moura (knee)

Pochettino named a near-full strength side for the midweek EFL Cup win over Chelsea, and he is unlikely to make too many changes for this match.

Captain Hugo Lloris will return in goal, while the likes of Ben Davies and Erik Lamela may also be hopeful of working their way into the starting XI after being on the bench last time out.

The in-form Son Heung-min is expected to lead the line in what will be his final game before joining up with South Korea at the Asian Cup.

There is also an outside chance that Eric Dier could return to the squad following surgery to remove his appendix last month, while Jan Vertonghen is also closing in on a comeback and Lucas Moura will be assessed before kickoff.

Mousa Dembele could also be in contention following an ankle injury, although the possibility of a January move to China could mean that he has played his final game for the club.

> Click here to see how Manchester United could line up for this fixture

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How Tottenham Hotspur could line up against Manchester United

Leicester City enter the race to sign Hull City winger Jarrod Bowen

LEICESTER CITY have joined the race to sign Hull’s Jarrod Bowen.

The winger is one of the hottest properties outside the Premier League with 11 goals for the Tigers this term, including seven in his last eight games.

 Leicester City are tracking Jarrod Bowen
 Claude Puel has sent scouts to watch Hull winger Jarrod Bowen

Tottenham and Everton are also among a host of top-flight clubs tracking the 22-year-old valued at £20million.

And the current Championship Player of the Month has caught the eye of Foxes boss Claude Puel who is looking to bolster his attacking options this month.

Leicester sent scouts to run the rule over Bowen who scored in the Tigers New Year’s day 6-0 win over Bolton.

However, Hull’s top brass insist their star man is not for sale.

 Hull boss Nigel Adkins wants his best players at the club as they are still in the hunt for a promotion play-off spot

Vice-chairman Ehab Allam said: "Our recent fantastic run of results has given everyone at the club and supporters fresh optimism as we embark on the second half of the season.

"To build on this positive momentum on the pitch we have no intention of selling key players.

"We are currently working closely with Nigel (Adkins) to support him to further enhance our squad, and therefore give us a great opportunity to close the gap to the top six and end the season on a high.”

And with Hull adamant they are not prepared to do business this month, promotion is a must to hold on to Bowen in the summer when he will have two years left on his current deal.

Failure to reach the Premier League will see Hull resigned to losing the forward but will hope to spark a bidding war for Bowen’s signature.

It’s match week 22 of the Premier League as Tottenham welcome Manchester United and West Ham take on Arsenal

Hughton: Van Dijk is as good as the Premier League's greatest ever defenders

Virgil van Dijk's performances for Liverpool put him on par with the finest centre-backs in Premier League history, according to Brighton boss Chris Hughton.

But Hughton believes the Holland international must sustain his form over a longer period of time to cement a place among the division's all-time greats.

Van Dijk – a one-time transfer target for Albion – has helped transform Jurgen Klopp's Reds into genuine title contenders following a £75million move from Southampton last January.

The 27-year-old visits the Amex Stadium on Saturday with the table-topping Merseyside club bidding to increase their four-point lead over champions Manchester City.

Asked if Van Dijk deserves to be talked about in the same breath as the likes of John Terry, Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand, Hughton replied: "Is he that level of player? Yes of course, I've no doubt he is when you look at the qualities he's got.

"The other players we've mentioned have done it over a long period.

"If you're asking me if he's at their level as a player, then the answer is yes.

"But if you're talking about an influence on our game and the history they have, then of course they've done it for a longer time and he hasn't."

Brighton – then managed by Gus Poyet – attempted to sign Van Dijk from Dutch club Groningen in January 2013, seeing two bids rejected.

The player joined Celtic in the summer of that year and, after moving on to St Mary's for a reported £13million in September 2015, increased his value significantly before arriving at Anfield.

"What you have with all the best centre-halves, and it's exactly the same with Van Dijk, is they make things look easier," added Hughton.

"If you homed in on the job he's done, the positions he is in, the pace that he shows, the distribution that he has, he looks such a good player.

"If you look at all the aspects of what you want in a centre-half: good in the air, comfortable with the ball at his feet, good enough pace, he has all those qualities."

Albion's success in establishing themselves in the top flight owes a lot to their own defensive solidity, built on the reliable centre-back partnership of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy.

Seagulls vice-captain Dunk became an England international in November, while Republic of Ireland defender Duffy has also regularly attracted praise.

Hughton says the "outstanding" pair are vital members of his team and feels they can improve further by watching Van Dijk.

"What Van Dijk is to Liverpool, that's what our two are to us," said Hughton.

"We know what level he is but if I'm looking at what you would regard as two outstanding centre-halves at our level, ours are as valuable to us as what he is to them.

"The two we have will look at the best around where they can learn from, what they can pick up from.

"At the moment, he (Van Dijk) is a great role model. He doesn't miss many games, is good in both boxes and is a top, top all-round player."

Despite being clear at the top of the table, Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by second-placed City in their previous league fixture, before crashing out of the FA Cup at Wolves on Monday.

Asked if the Reds can end their 19-year wait for a top-flight title, Hughton said they were favourites but "wouldn't put money on it".

"I think they are favourites simply because of the points difference, and I think they've been outstanding," he said.

"But I couldn't tell you who will win it. And certainly, I wouldn't put money on it."

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