Tonight Tottenham enter the first fixture in what is with question a season defining period of games, not only are there a trio of huge Premier League matches on the horizon but there are also Champions League ties against Juventus and a F.A Cup replay against Newport all to follow in quick succession.
A cup replay and the extra fixture it has subsequently given the club was certainly not on the agenda for Mauricio Pochettino as he witnessed his side being held to a draw by League Two side Newport County on Saturday at Rodney Parade.
Whether you can blame the conditions, a lack of creativity or taking the opposition for granted is up for debate. To be honest it is probably a mixture of all three but at the same time it is a question that is still valid after the club were held to a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
The last two outings for Tottenham have been little to write home about as they have stuttered to two draws on the road, one that has seen them pass up a chance to close the gap considerably on Liverpool in the race for fourth and one that saw them nearly suffer the embarrassment of a cup exit at the weekend.
This evening they play host to Manchester United in the first of these three all important league outings over the next 10 days and there can be no understating the fact that this is a must win fixture, truth be told they are all must win fixtures.
If Tottenham have any aspirations of returning to the Champions League via a top four finish then they will need to accrue a sizeable points tally from their next three games, you almost get the feeling that it needs to be nine out of nine come the end of February 10th.
The pressure will have been added to them last night after Huddersfield failed to repeat what Swansea did, that of course being getting the better of Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s men now find themselves five points clear of Liverpool, albeit it with a game in hand.
These two teams met earlier in the season and it was an Anthony Martial late goal that proved to be the difference as United edged out a Spurs side without Harry Kane. The difference this time around is that the latter will be available to be called upon but Jose Mourinho also has an ace up his sleeve.
That ace of course being the Premier League debut of Alexis Sanchez for his new club. Not many would have him penciled down as playing in this fixture after a move to Manchester City looked nailed on for such a long time, however he will feature tonight although he should not expect a warm reception.
He has already made his bow for the club as they made relatively light work of League Two opposition themselves last weekend. Where Tottenham stuttered, they only needed one crack at beating the resolve of Yeovil as they eased into the 5th Round of the F.A. Cup.
Previously to that they solidify second place in the table with a slender win over Burnley at Turf Moor, that win saw them record a third straight victory in the league and not only that allowed them to solidify their current second place standing.
The objective for United will obviously be to try and make an honest fist of a title race, as difficult a task as that may be. If that cannot be reached then it will be to make sure they finish the best of the rest and more importantly not be dragged into the race for the remaining Champions League places.
The last thing they will want is the race for fourth becoming a race for second, they will want to keep a comfortable buffer between them and the chasing pack. Something they can do if they beat Tottenham this evening, if that is the case then that would see an 11 point gap open us between the two.
There is no doubting the magnitude of this fixture as Tottenham look to kick on in what has been a season of two steps forward and one step back. A must win game but unfortunately for them I can see this one ending up in a low scoring draw.