Interim Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has enjoyed a stellar start to his term at Old Trafford with four consecutive wins.
The former United striker has brought the fun factor back to United after Jose Mourinho was terminated following United’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool in December.
Solskjaer has embraced the attacking philosophy that was synonymous under Sir Alex Ferguson’s era, and it’s United maligned stars reaping the benefits.
Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez have all embraced the new mantra and there’s now a belief that United can challenge for a top four position.
A trip to Wembley represents Solskjaer’s toughest challenge to date with Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino at the top of Ed Woodward’s wish list to make the permanent switch to Old Trafford in the summer.
Pochettino has helped his side to seven wins in their last eight matches and memories of his side’s 3-0 win over United at Old Trafford are still fresh in the minds of United’s players.
Spurs haven’t lost at home to United since 2012 and a win would give Spurs their first Premier League double over United since the 1989/1990 Premier League season.
Here are five talking points for the match of the round.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs Mauricio Pochettino
The stakes are high for both coaches this weekend, with the winner to build a strong case for the United job on a permanent basis.
Solskjaer has not put a foot wrong since his return to Old Trafford, with the staff and playing group clearly enjoying life under the man who scored the winner for United in the 1999 Champions League final.
Solskjaer stands on the verge of surpassing Matt Busby’s 1946/47 coaching record if he can record a win at Wembley this weekend. A win for United would close the gap on the top-four and give Ed Woodward a reason to extend Solskajer’s stay at Old Trafford beyond this season.
Spurs manager Pochettino will be chasing his side’s first Premier League double over United in 30 years. United have made no secret to capture Pochettino’s signature for next season and a win for the Argentinian may mean that Ed Woodward may come calling at the end of the season.
Son Heung Min’s last chance to impress before the Asian Cup
While England skipper Harry Kane gets the headlines, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of Son Heung Min.
The South Korean forward has been in outstanding form this season with eight goals in 16 Premier League appearances this season.
Son’s pace and guile are sure to cause United’s injury-depleted backline plenty of issues with Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo all set to miss the clash at Wembley.
Can Solskjaer turn around United’s poor away record in North London?
There was a time when Manchester United regarded the train trip to north London as an easy three points.
Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson won 18 of his 21 trips to White Hart Lane.
However, since Ferguson’s departure, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have all failed to overcome Spurs in London.
Spurs have remained undefeated at home against Manchester United since 2012 and will be intent on maintaining their record and notching the first loss of Solskjaer’s reign at Old Trafford.
Have United regained their nineties swagger?
Since the departure of Mourinho, United’s forwards have enjoyed a resurgence inside the box.
United have scored 14 goals in their last four Premier League outings. The results coming against sides in the bottom half of the Premier League have papered over the issues with United’s backline.
While the attacking changes have brought the feel-good factor back to Old Trafford, it won’t be enough against a Spurs side searching for their first league title since 1961.
Hugo Lloris remains the key man for Spurs this weekend
The World Cup winner has been immense for Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season.
The French shot-stopper has recorded eight clean sheets to date this season, putting him behind Alisson and Kepa.
Spurs have only conceded 21 goals, putting their defensive efforts in the top four behind Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.
United have leaked in 31 goals at this point of the season and will need to cope with the threat of Harry Kane and Son Heung Min without three of their key defenders this weekend.