By Wayne Veysey

11th Dec, 2016 | 11:25am

Mourinho makes bold claim about Tottenham ahead of Manchester United showdown

By Alex Stevens

Jose Mourinho has backed Tottenham to provide even sterner opposition for Manchester United that Arsenal did last month.

The Old Trafford manager claimed Spurs are a strong side and were “phenomenal” in the first half of their recent 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

United host Spurs at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon in a mouthwatering showdown between the fifth and sixth placed teams in the Premier League table.

Mourinho’s side comfortably beat Ukraine outfit Zorya 2-0 in the Europa League on Thursday night to qualify for the last 32 of the competition, but have draw their last three league matches 1-1, including against new leaders Arsenal.

But Mourinho expects Tottenham to control periods of the match and place his team on the back foot.

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Asked about how he viewed the visit of Tottenham on Sunday, Mourinho, said, as quoted by the Metro: “Very difficult. Very good team. Probably the first team we play for a few weeks that will try to divide the control of the match.

“The others had to accept our dominance and I don’t think that is Tottenham’s style. They were phenomenal against Chelsea in the first half.”

Following their league defeat to Chelsea, Tottenham have won their last two matches, a 5-0 demolition of Swansea in the Premier League and Wednesday’s 3-1 triumph against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have confirmed they are closing in on a major January signing.