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Premier League

  • 29 September 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 75566

Manchester United - Tottenham Preview: Spurs aiming to pick up first Old Trafford win since 1989

Andre Villas-Boas' side have managed very little against the Red Devils over the last two decades, while Jermain Defoe will be hoping to score his 200th career goal



Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Carrick, Cleverley
Nani, Rooney, Welbeck
Van Persie

Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen
Sandro, Dembele
Lennon, Dempsey, Bale

Manchester United continue to struggle with injury concerns, most notably at the back as Nemanja Vidic (knee), Chris Smalling (foot) and Phil Jones (knee) remain sidelined, but Sir Alex is still able to pick from a core of first-team regulars.

In midfield the only two players who are definitively ruled out are Ashley Young (knee) and Antonio Valencia (ankle), meaning Nani could well retain his place in the starting line-up despite being withdrawn at half-time against Liverpool.

Wayne Rooney seems likely to return after several weeks out with a gash above his knee following his start against Newcastle United in the League Cup.

Andre Villas-Boas has his own fitness worries to mull over in the build-up to the match, with the brunt of his problems also in defence.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul (both knee) and Scott Parker (Achilles) are still out, and although Kyle Naughton (ankle) could be available, he may not be gambled upon with Jan Vertonghen tipped to move out to the left.

Like Naughon, Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) should be available, but a start seems unlikely given Jermain Defoe's impressive start to the season, while Clint Dempsey could get the nod over Gylfi Sigurdsson in attacking midfield, with the Iceland international yet to really impress for Spurs.

  • Manchester United have not lost any of their last 22 Premier League meetings with Tottenham, with 17 ending in victories.
  • Spurs have scored just one of their eight league goals in the first half, while no side has scored more than them in the second period.
  • Meanwhile, in typical United fashion, the Red Devils have scored a third of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches.
  • If Jermain Defoe (pictured, right) scores at Old Trafford, it will be his 200th career strike.
  • United have lost only twice at home to Spurs since 1981, with Gary Lineker a scorer on both occasions.
  • In his last six matches against Spurs, Robin van Persie has managed five goals and four assists.
  • With 10 goals, Ryan Giggs has not scored more against any other opponent than Spurs.
  • Andre Villas-Boas' only previous visit to Old Trafford as a manager saw his Chelsea side lose 3-1 early last season.

Players to watch


Position: Defender

Games: 0

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Regardless of who Spurs are playing, with Luka Modric gone, Gareth Bale will be the team's go-to man this season, meaning United right-back Rafael will have to be on the top of his game on Saturday.

The Brazilian has had a fairly steady and consistent start to the season by his rather erratic standards and he has come out on top before in a dual with the Welsh winger, but that will not count for much this weekend. Either way, Rafael must keep a lid on Bale.

A. Lennon

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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After a slow start at United, Patrice Evra managed to mould himself into one - if not the - world's best left-backs, but there is one player who he has struggled against time and time again; Aaron Lennon.

The pace, trickery and lightning-quick change of direction that Lennon possesses always seems to strike fear into Evra, and with the France international far from his best these days it would be wise of Villas-Boas to instruct his players to give Lennon as many runs at the full-back as possible.

Editor's Prediction

This match so often enthrals and bleeds goals, and with the amount of attacking talent on each side coupled with defensive problems it would hardly be surprising if this meeting follows a similar pattern.

However, in front of their own fans and after some lacklustre performances of late, United are likely to have received a kick up the backside from Sir Alex, therefore a home win looks the most probable outcome.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham Hotspur

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MUN
3 - 0
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Manchester United FC MUN
3 - 1
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Manchester United FC MUN
2 - 0
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT