Striker Michael Owen will be sidelined for at least three more weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in training as he stepped up his recovery from a groin problem.
Javier Hernandez comes into the game in fine form having scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Stoke last Sunday and the winner in Tuesday’s League Cup victory over Wolves.
Wayne Rooney is out for longer than expected with his ankle injury but was never in contention to feature, while Owen Hargreaves (calf) and Ryan Giggs (hamstring) also miss out. Antonio Valencia is not expected to return from his dislocated ankle for at least four months.
Possible starting XI: Van der Sar; O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Park; Hernandez, Berbatov.
Harry Redknapp is expected to wait until the last moment before deciding on whether to play captain Ledley King, who is a major doubt for the trip to Old Trafford with a groin injury.
Alan Hutton could be the man to make way for the central defender as Redknapp tweaks his line-up, while Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is expected to replace Peter Crouch as the lone striker.
Spurs are still without Vedran Corluka (groin), Michael Dawson (knee), Jermain Defoe (ankle), Jamie O’Hara (back) and Jonathan Woodgate (groin).
Possible starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Pavlyuchenko.
Manchester United have not lost any of their 15 games in all competitions so far this season and are the only side yet to taste defeat in the Premier League.
The last two times Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have beaten unbeaten after nine Premier League matches – in 1996-97 and 1999-00 – they went on to become champions.
While United have already lost six points from winning positions this season, they have won 10 points from a possible 12 at Old Trafford and history suggests they will add to that tally on Saturday.
They are unbeaten in their last 18 matches against Tottenham – which dates back to May 2001 – and have won the last three clashes between the sides.
But the hosts may be concerned that they have only kept one clean sheet in their last six league matches, in the goalless draw at Sunderland on October 2.
Breaking the duck
Tottenham travel to Old Trafford looking to end one of the worst records in the division having failed to win at one of the so-called ‘Big Four’ for 17 years.
Their dismal run at the homes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool stretches back 67 away games to their 2-1 win at Anfield in August 1993, when Teddy Sheringham scored twice.
The Londoners’ last victory at United was a 1-0 win way back on December 16, 1989, in the old Division One, when Gary Lineker scored the only goal.
Harry Redknapp will be wary that he has never won a Premier League match as a manager at Old Trafford but has instilled great spirit in his Spurs side, who have come from behind to win 10 points this season.
Now a Champions League side themselves, Spurs will have half an eye on Tuesday’s clash against Inter as they push for qualification into the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition.
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