After five straight wins under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United look to take their biggest scalp under their new boss on Sunday when they travel to Wembley to face Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs' boss Mauricio Pochettino remains the favourite to get the United job beyond the end of the season, but he will be doing everything he can to bring down the Red Devils this weekend as Tottenham look to maintain their title challenge alongside Liverpool and Manchester City.
United remain well short of the top four, although their deficit from the Champions League pack has been reduced from 11 points to six since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho and another victory against Spurs would surely bring them right back into the conversation at the top end of the table.
Man Utd Injuries
United's biggest injury news during the week related to Paul Pogba, who missed the FA Cup win over Reading due to the thigh injury suffered in a dangerous tackle by Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey over the New Year period. But the good news is that the French midfielder, who was United's Player of the Month for December, joined up with his team-mates on the warm-weather camp in Dubai and came through training well, with Solskjaer confirming on Thursday that Pogba is ready to play on Sunday.
Alexis Sanchez limped off against Reading on Saturday but suffered no long-term effects of his hamstring trouble and will be available for selection at the national stadium.
Elsewhere, Marcos Rojo has returned to Argentina for further treatment on his long-standing injuries. Having returned to the United squad in early December, the defender lasted only 45 minutes of the Champions League loss to Valencia and has not played since.
Man Utd Suspensions
The Red Devils remain without Eric Bailly, who is suspended after he was shown a straight red card against Bournemouth. He has already sat out the wins over Newcastle and Reading, and will be free to return for the home clash with Brighton next weekend following his three-match ban. Elsewhere the raising of the yellow-card suspension mark to 10 means both United and Spurs are running no risk of losing further players to suspension for the time being.
Possible Man Utd Starting Line-Up
United had a largely settled line-up in their league games over the Christmas and New Year period, and the returns of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez are the biggest additions to Solskjaer's panel so far. Chris Smalling could also stake a claim having returned from injury.
But the Norwegian could well stick with the plan, keeping Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard at the head of his side following their great form over the holiday spell, meaning Lukaku is reduced to an impact role off the bench. Sanchez limped out of the Reading victory with a recurrence of hamstring trouble but will be fit enough to play some part and will likely be a substitute as a result.
At the back perhaps the biggest headaches relate to Smalling's return and whether he usurps Phil Jones, and there's the question mark on the right of defence between Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot, with Young the more likely to be handed the start.
Tottenham Team News
Eric Dier is set to return for Spurs having missed the last month due to appendicitis, while Mousa Dembele is available after ankle trouble but could be held back depending on the status of a potential January move to China. Victor Wanyama's continuing knee trouble makes Dier's return timely as Pochettino scrambles for options in midfield following a busy Christmas period.
In defence Jan Vertonghen should be fit after a thigh injury, while up front Lucas Moura could be out after suffering a knee issue in the 7-0 win at Tranmere in the FA Cup.
TV Coverage & Kick-Off Time
The game kicks off at 4:30pm GMT (11:30am ET), and will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the UK and livestreamed on NBC Sports Gold in the US, as well as various other channels around the world.
Best Opta Match Facts
- Spurs are looking to win three consecutive top-flight meetings with Manchester United for the first time since September 1960.
- Manchester United have lost their last three away Premier League matches against Spurs – they had lost just three of their first 23 against them in the competition between 1992 and 2014 (W12 D8).
- Spurs could become the first team since Everton in 1987 to win four consecutive home top-flight matches against Manchester United.
- Manchester United have lost two of their last three matches at Wembley in all competitions (including this exact fixture last season), as many as they had in their last 15 at the ground (W8 D5 L2).
- Manchester United have won just four of their last 17 away Premier League matches in London (D4 L9).
- Victory here would see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer equal Matt Busby’s record of a Manchester United manager winning their first five league games in charge of the club.
- Harry Kane and Lucas Moura (2) were on the scoresheet in Tottenham’s 3-0 win in the reverse fixture – only Clint Dempsey in 2012-13 and Jermaine Jenas in 2005-06 have scored home and away against Man Utd for Spurs in the same Premier League campaign.
- For club and country in all competitions, Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved in nine goals in his nine appearances at Wembley Stadium, scoring eight and assisting one.
- Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in nine goals in his last eight Premier League games for Manchester United (4 goals, 5 assists), and is looking to score in three consecutive top-flight games for the first time in his career.