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
By Ryan Benson
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Nani, Rooney, Welbeck
Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen
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(knee) and Antonio Valencia (ankle), meaning Nani could well retain his place in the starting line-up despite being withdrawn at half-time against Liverpool.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.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- 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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 3-0 Tottenham
- 19.06 %
Manchester United 3-1 Tottenham
- 17.57 %
Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham
- 13.13 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||1 Dec 2013||Tottenham 2 - Manchester United 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||20 Jan 2013||Tottenham 1 - Manchester United 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||29 Sep 2012||Manchester United 2 - Tottenham 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||4 Mar 2012||Tottenham 1 - Manchester United 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||22 Aug 2011||Manchester United 3 - Tottenham 0|
|15 Dec 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Manchester United 3||EPL|
|10 Dec 2013||Manchester United 1 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Newcastle United 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Everton 1||EPL|
|1 Dec 2013||Tottenham 2 - Manchester United 2||EPL|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|