Manchester United, currently in 2nd place in the Premier League, faces Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently 3rd, on Sunday in what is one of the games of the season. How have they fared so far this season?
Statistically not much separates the two sides. The most striking statistic is that Manchester United have scored 12 more goals and conceded 4 less than Tottenham Hotspur. Chances have been created at a similar rate, with Spurs doing slightly better in that regard. Spurs have also made more passes than Man Utd this season and Man Utd have made more crosses than Spurs this season. This indicates that Spurs enjoy to play with more possession whereas Man Utd rely more on their wing play. With Antonio Valencia, Man Utd’s most in form winger this season, certain to miss out, it is likely that Nani and Young will start on the right and left .
Key Battle – Carrick vs Modric
The key battle on Sunday will be in the midfield. Sir Alex Ferguson talked at length about two central midfielders in his Friday press conference and drew comparisons on both with Manchester United’s Paul Scholes. So how do Michael Carrick and Luka Modric compare?
Defensively Michael Carrick does a lot more for Manchester United than Luka Modric does for Tottenham Hotspur. This fact is unsurprising due to their roles in their respective teams. Michael Carrick tends to sit in front of the back for and doesn’t often surge forward whereas Luka Modric plays in a more advanced role, often protected by a defensive partner like Scott Parker.
Not much separates the two players in terms of passing. Their possession stats are very similar. Luka Modric is without doubt the more creative player, creating a chance once every 39 minutes compared to Michael Carrick creating a chance every 81 minutes.