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Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Tottenham can ease the pain with final win at the Lane

Spurs can say goodbye in style

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino instructs Harry Kane
1 of 1

Premier League
Sky Sports 1, 4.30pm Sunday

Tottenham's Premier League title dream is over but they can ease their supporters' pain by defeating Manchester United in the last match to be played at White Hart Lane.

Spurs drifted from 8-11 to 17-20 after their title hopes were ended by Chelsea's 1-0 triumph at West Brom on Friday.

But, although Tottenham no longer have a trophy to play for, they will be desperate to put on an impressive show and a winning performance as they say farewell to their historic home ground.

Taking the title out of the equation may even help them by removing the fear of failure which perhaps played a part in the poor performance in last Friday's 1-0 defeat at West Ham.

Tottenham were up against highly-motivated opponents at the London Stadium when West Ham produced one of their most determined performances of the season and the Hammers' efforts only increased after Manuel Lanzini had swept them into a 65th-minute lead.

Spurs are up against better players this weekend but United have had their minds focused on the Europa League for several weeks and Jose Mourinho is likely to make sweeping changes to his team.

United were far from convincing during Thursday's 1-1 semi-final second-leg draw at home to Celta Vigo (enough to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory) and there was a sense of huge relief around Old Trafford at the final whistle.

The success or failure of United's season will now depend on the outcome of the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm on May 24.

Ideally, they would like to go into the match with Champions League qualification already secured but United's top-four hopes are hanging by a thread with five points separating them from fourth-placed Liverpool.

Mourinho had considered the top-four chase a long shot before his team lost 2-0 at Arsenal last Sunday and he made his team selection accordingly, handing Premier League debuts to academy products Axel Tuanzebe and Scott McTominay.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones came into the side – making their first starts since March – and showed signs of rustiness as United conceded two goals for the first time since their 3-2 success over Southampton in the EFL Cup final in February.

Arsenal ran out easy winners, fully justifying their status as odds-on favourites, and Spurs could well do likewise.

Mauricio Pochettino's side were poor at West Ham but have been almost unstoppable at White Hart Lane, taking 50 points from a possible 54.

They have won their last 16 matches at the venue, the last of them a 2-0 success over Arsenal which guaranteed they would finish above their north London rivals.

The incentive for a victory over United is a guaranteed second place but the overriding objective will be to send the fans home happy on a special day for the club and Pochettino's players should be up to the task.

Recommendation
Tottenham
2pts 17-20 Betway

Bet on this match at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Tottenham
Danny Rose is back in full training but lacks match fitness. Erik Lamela and Harry Winks are sidelined until next season.

Manchester United
Marouane Fellaini completes a three-game ban and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are out for the season. Paul Pogba is a major doubt following the death of his father.

Key stat
Tottenham have won their last 16 matches at White Hart Lane.

United have had their minds focused on the Europa League for several weeks and Jose Mourinho is likely to make sweeping changes
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