Spurs vs Man United preview: Kane, Fernandes & Rashford feature in combined XI

Spurs vs Man United preview

Tottenham Hotspur's ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League are hanging in the balance ahead of their clash with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. 

Chelsea's revival under Thomas Tuchel and a Jesse Lingard-inspired West Ham United will both be giving Jose Mourinho plenty of concern ahead of the run-in.

All the Portuguese and his Spurs side can do in the last eight games, though, is control the controllables and hope that fortune is on their side in what promises to be a captivating end to the race for the top four. 

Though Spurs did emerge from Old Trafford with a 6-1 win over United in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Sunday's clash represents the toughest of their remaining fixtures.

Ahead of the game, GIVEMESPORT have produced a combined XI comprising of the best players from Spurs and United's squad based on form in the 2020/21 season. 

There wasn't much to split the two teams, but United slightly outnumber their weekend opponents here with six players in the XI. 

Take a look at who makes the cut below:

GK: Dean Henderson 

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Boasting a clean sheet percentage of 57.1% from seven Premier League games, Dean Henderson is statistically one of the best goalkeepers in the division this season. 

Of those glovesmen who have played five or more league games, Henderson tops the charts for clean sheet percentage. 

He gets the nod over the perennially unpredictable Hugo Lloris.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 

Only Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes have posted a higher WhoScored average rating than Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.12) this season. 

Serge Aurier would have been nailed on for the right-back berth earlier in the season, but he's struggled to recover from his painfully predictable moment of lunacy against Leicester City shortly before Christmas. 

CB: Toby Alderweireld 

Toby Alderweireld isn't in the best form of his life, but in the absence of a first-class partner he's been forced to carry the defensive unit at 32 years of age. 

His performances underpinned much of Spurs' progress heading into the Christmas period and he remains Mourinho's most trustworthy lieutenant. 

CB: Harry Maguire 

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Harry Maguire has recovered well after a torrid opening to the campaign.

United haven't got the same level of value from Maguire that Liverpool have extracted from Virgil van Dijk, but he's still their best centre-back by some distance.

LB: Luke Shaw 

The marauding, all-action left-back that United were promised when they signed Luke Shaw back in 2014 has finally arrived at the party. 

Alex Telles has hardly had a sniff in the Premier League thanks to Shaw's impeccable consistency, and his form has merited a return to the England fold. 

Sergio Reguilon has been a shrewd signing for Spurs, but only Joao Cancelo comes close to Shaw this season.

CDM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 

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One of the signings of the season and a shoe-in for a holding midfield berth. 

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has taken most by surprise with his Pitbull-like approach and natural leadership qualities and is a stark contender for individual accolades at Spurs. 

CDM: Tanguy Ndombele 

Tanguy Ndombele has finally announced himself in English football following his ominous maiden 2019/20 campaign. 

Though he normally plays in an advanced midfield role for Spurs, he possesses the broad skillset needed for a deeper role and drops back here to accommodate an attacking midfield specialist in Bruno Fernandes.

CAM: Bruno Fernandes 

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Fernandes' place was never in doubt.

One of the firm contenders for PFA Player of the Year, the Portugal international has scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists in 30 league outings. 

Only Harry Kane, Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne have posted higher average WhoScored ratings. 

RW: Marcus Rashford 

Marcus Rashford has been United's biggest goal threat after Fernandes, notching ten and assisting seven in 30 games.

The 23-year-old is a menace at full tilt, but still needs to add consistency to his game to realise the full extent of his enormous potential. 

LW: Heung-min Son 

That Heung-min Son is without a goal in six league matches and still has 13 from 29 games this season speaks volumes about how electric he was during the first half of the season.

His form has faded in tandem with a club-wide decline at Spurs, but this temporary blip is bound to pass before too long. 

He'd walk into most of Europe's top clubs, and he'd certainly be a massive hit and guaranteed starter if he moved to Old Trafford. 

CF: Harry Kane

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Who else? 

With 32 goals contributions (19 goals and 13 assists) already to his name this season, Harry Kane was the first name on the teamsheet and rounds off a front-three worth a combined £261m, per Transfermarkt valuations. 

The England superstar is only improving with age, and Spurs could yet have a real fight on their hands to keep him in north London beyond the summer window. 

Here's the line-up in full:

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