Manchester United lost on Sunday before winning on Wednesday. These two Premier League matches offered plenty of food for thought, both in a positive and a negative way, but now the bigger task awaits. The match that is ahead of Jose Mourinho and his team could decide whether the Devils will end the season without a trophy. Silverware is at stake. The FA Cup semifinal is up next and United will be playing Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Alexis Sanchez Creating Havoc
First argument is the Chilean maverick. He can be an incredible, unstoppable player on his night, yet this season he has often been in poorer form. However, Sanchez’s recent performances mean that he could actually have a great game, as there have been certain improvements. Alexis has been better in regard to retaining the ball and creating for others and while he has not been very good against West Brom last weekend, the big occasion could get the best out of him.
Kieran Trippier will be the one trying to stop the Chilean and with Sanchez’s cutting inside Davinson Sanchez could be tested as well. It will be an interesting battle from which United must try and get the most.
Matic Stopping Eriksen
Things are getting interesting. Christian Eriksen has been one of the best and most consistent performers of this Tottenham side in recent years and his current form indicates that Nemanja Matic will have a big task in front of him. The Dane is a player of great abilities, able to solve big clashes in a second, the way he did against Manchester City last season.
Matic will have to be up to the challenge. Serbian midfielder has been one of the players that made difference in United’s performances across the whole season and it will be intriguing to see who wins this battle.
Harry Kane v Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling has scored two goals in the last two weeks. First, he scored the winning goal against Manchester City and then repeated the feat to seal the victory against Bournemouth on Wednesday. However, this time his defensive skills will be on show. Can he stop Harry Kane?
The Englishman scored in Tottenham’s 1-1 draw on Tuesday and proved he is still eager to catch up with Mohamed Salah in the Golden Boot race. That means his motivation will be the highest possible, especially when the FA Cup final is at stake. The forward could well lose his goalscoring title, but Tottenham are two steps from winning silverware. That must be a priority.
The Pogba-Lukaku Link Up
This has been one of the stories of the Manchester United season. How well can these two work? When they clicked, they really clicked and everyone fell in front of them, even City. When they did not, it was more difficult, especially against organized defences like the one Spurs have.
Pogba will be needed to bring both his explosiveness and reliability. United cannot afford him wandering around like he did last time the Devils visited Wembley. Lukaku, on the other hand, will be trusted to score from the chances he get, the question is how many will he have?