Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur: The Reds' 5 Key Players

Devil in a New DressSenior Writer IMarch 3, 2012

NORWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26:  Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on February 26, 2012 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Manchester United will continue their Premier League title push under vast amounts of pressure to perform when they face high-flying Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Playing a day after Manchester City defeated Bolton Wanderers 2-0 to go five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson's side will have their work cut out for them against the  third-placed Spurs.

In addition to being five points behind City, United know that nothing less than a win will suffice with City's current league form. Here's a look at five players whose input will be greatly relied upon against Harry Redknapp's men.


1. David de Gea, GK

Voted by Manchester United fans as player of the month for February and man of the match against Norwich last week, de Gea will need to be at his shot-stopping best if United want to quiet the attacking threat of Adebayor, Bale, Lennon and Modric.

2. Patrice Evra, LB

Patrice Evra's concentration lapses this season have been one of the biggest setbacks for a Manchester United back-line that has been mercilessly riddled with injuries. Aaron Lennon vs. Evra will be a big battle tomorrow and the United team will need their captain to step up to the plate.

3. Paul Scholes, MC

It's difficult to put into words the amount of good that Paul Scholes' return has done to Manchester United's midfield, but without doubt he will be a key component for United against Spurs. Earlier in the season, with injuries to Cleverley and Anderson, United were lacking presence and creativity in midfield. That's no longer the case now, thanks in part to Scholes.

4. Michael Carrick, MC

Now employed as a "protector" of the back four, Michael Carrick's quiet efficiency will be necessary against a Spurs midfield that will make a lot of noise. One of United's standout performers over the past few weeks, Carrick will be of great importance to United.

5. Wayne Rooney, SC

In last week's late 2-1 win over Norwich City, Manchester United were clearly missing the presence and skill of their absent No. 1 striker, Wayne Rooney. They'll need him for sure against a much better Spurs side.