Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says the eight day gap before the visit of Manchester United can help reignite the club's faltering Premier League title challenge. The draw with Liverpool coupled with Leicester City's win over Southampton saw Claudio Ranieri's side go seven points clear at the top with six games remaining.
The game at Anfield, which saw Harry Kane cancel out Phillipe Coutinho's opener, came just days after an international break which saw 14 of the Spurs first-team squad away playing for their country. Though Pochettino's squad had only one day to prepare for the game they did much of the running in the twilight of the game and could have claimed all three points with a succession of late chances.
The fitness of the Tottenham squad has been among the defining features of their surprise title tilt, with the pressing game imposed by Pochettino having disrupted many an opponent this term. Defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League ensures the team can firmly focus on domestic matters, light relief for the Argentine coach.
"We haven't had many clear weeks this season." he said, according to The Evening Standard. "We've had a lot of midweek games but it will be nice to have a bit of recovery time and then work hard to try to get the three points against United on Sunday. In football, you always need to be ready for the next game. Now we have a few days to recover and try to prepare for United.
"It's important because we only really had one day to prepare for Liverpool. International weeks can be difficult, 90% of the players are away but now we have six games left in six weeks and time to prepare the players. We will fight until the end of the season."
A throng of Tottenham players will be delighted with the extended period of rest ahead of the visit of United. Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Harry Kane and Dele Alli have each made 50 or more appearances in all competitions this season but are set to play a key role during the sharp end of the campaign and in the summer's European Championships.
Pochettino's side could lose further ground on Leicester come kick-off at White Hart Lane, with the Foxes facing relegation-threatened Sunderland in the early kick-off on Sunday [10 April] before United take on Tottenham. Only six sides have relinquished a lead at the top of the Premier League with six games remaining and the north Londoners will hope they can become the latest beneficiaries of late season nerves.