David de Gea has called on Manchester United to continue progressing ahead of Wednesday’s huge clash with Tottenham Hotspur, having brought up 500 appearances for the Red Devils last time out.
The Spain international reached that landmark in a goalless draw with Newcastle United on Sunday, a result which left United three points adrift of the Premier League’s top four.
Despite United’s stalemate with the Magpies, De Gea believes they are on the right path, saying: “The main job is to try to reach the trophies and fight for them.
“I won already some trophies here and it was amazing, the feeling, and for the fans as well. This is what we are trying to do.
“I think we’re playing better. We are winning some difficult games, keeping some good clean sheets as well. That’s super important for us and I feel it.
“The players want it more, we are hungry and that’s a good signal, so let’s keep doing well and keep fighting together.”
Tottenham, meanwhile, are level with second-placed Manchester City after beating Everton 2-0 in their last fixture, and appear to be one of the favourites to seal Champions League qualification this term.
Antonio Conte believes his side have shown clear development since last campaign, saying: “I think compared to last season, you can see more stability in this team.
“In every game we go into the pitch with the will, with the desire that there is the possibility to get three points and win the game.
“Then it can happen in one game, like Arsenal, that you can lose. But in every game I think my players feel the possibility to try to fight to get three points.
“This has to be our target in every game, to make the life of our opponent difficult. It was a good start for us but we know very well we have to continue in this way.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in this exact fixture last season in a 3-2 win for the Red Devils. Overall, he’s scored eight Premier League goals against Spurs (including six in his last three) – against no side does he have more in the competition. Having returned to United’s team against Newcastle, he will be keen to hit the net again.
Tottenham Hotspur – Harry Kane
Kane has scored in each of his last five Premier League games, his longest scoring streak in the competition. It’s the seventh time a Tottenham player has scored in five consecutive Premier League appearances, but none have managed to do so in six in a row – can the England captain change that?
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Manchester United have won their last three Premier League games against Spurs, last winning more consecutively against them between April 2009 and October 2010 (four).
– Tottenham have lost more Premier League games against Manchester United than they have vs any other opponent (38), while only against Chelsea (110) have they shipped more goals than against the Red Devils (104).
– Spurs boss Antonio Conte has lost all three of his away games against Manchester United, with all of these coming in the Premier League – against no side has the Italian lost more away games in all competitions in his club career.
– Tottenham have lost just one of their last 16 Premier League games (W11 D4), going down 3-1 at Arsenal earlier this month. Spurs have scored 35 goals in these 16 games, conceding just 12 while keeping eight clean sheets.
– Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has been involved in five goals in nine Premier League appearances this season (three goals, two assists), just one fewer than he managed in 25 games last term (four goals, two assists). The England forward is just two goals shy from netting 100 in all competitions for the Red Devils.