Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United: Under-21 final preview and thread

Alex Livesey

Tottenham's fledglings have romped their way through their Elite Group fixtures and and the tournament semi-finals; now only one win over Manchester United stands between the kids and a well-deserved trophy win.

Update - Man United 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Match report

The 2012/13 season has been one of the best of the past decade for Tottenham's U21, featuring outstanding moments such as two mini-North London Derby wins, a thumping 6-0 defeat of Newcastle and triumph over Liverpool at Anfield. Having dispatched Everton in the playoff semi-final, the youngsters now only require a win over Manchester United tonight to clinch the title. After outstanding performances all season, expect to see mainstays Thomas Carroll, Nabil Bentaleb and Cristian Ceballos in and around John McDermott's starting lineup, joined again by recently-returned loanees Alex Pritchard and Jon Obika.

The evening promises to be a real test for the side with Manchester United's youth side having won 12, drawn 9 and lost 5 on their way to the final, scoring 36 goals and conceding 26. Head-to-head, however, Tottenham still remain favourites, having won 19, drawn 5 and lost 5, scoring an eye-watering 77 goals and conceding 37 over the course of the season. Drink that in. 77 goals. As we've seen time and time again throughout this U21 this season, this is a young Spurs side that possesses an incredible capacity to rack up big goal tallies, with the three-forward system deployed by the team's coaches creating a multifaceted and fluid attacking threat that nigh on every opponent has struggled to deal with all season.

Star midfielder Larnell Cole is the clear danger man for United tonight, and defenders Grant Hall, Kevin Stewart and ex-United Man Zeki Fryers will have to be at the top of their game to keep the youngster some are touting as the next most likely to break into United's first team quiet. Attacking midfielders Mats Daehli (last year's Young Player of the Year) and Ryan Tunnicliffe (who scored the winner against Spurs when the two teams last met) will also require extra attention if Tottenham want an easier ride to victory.

Expect fireworks and hope for the best, which is nothing less than Tottenham's U21s deserve after a season after a season of being a credit to the club.

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