Rio Ferdinand states his prediction for Man United v Tottenham

Rio Ferdinand looks ahead to Manchester United's home clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon

Rio Ferdinand has warned Manchester United that they cannot afford to lose to Tottenham in Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils head into the game looking to return to winning ways in the top flight after their disappointing 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend.

United have made a stuttering start to life in the Premier League under new boss Jose Mourinho following his appointment back in May.

Indeed, the Red Devils have only won two of their last 11 games in the top flight to leave them trailing leaders Chelsea by 13 points.

And former Manchester United defender Ferdinand has talked up the importance of Sunday’s game as the hectic festive period in the Premier League looms large.

Speaking in an interview with ESPN FC, Ferdinand said: “This is an opportunity for Manchester United to really stake a claim and really put the teams above them under a bit of pressure because this is kind of a statement game.

“When you get to these type of games, it’s almost do or die because, if Manchester United lose, they could potentially go 12 points behind. Man United can’t afford really to lose this game.”

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He added: “If they go out there and win, and win convincingly, that makes everybody else sit up in the league and think: ‘OK, they’ve beaten a very good team – and a team in form in the last couple of games – in Spurs.’”

Manchester United brought in Mourinho as the club’s new manager over the summer following the disappointment of their fifth-placed finish in the top flight last season.

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