Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester United

Spurs aiming for first win against United at home for 10 years
Ten Years And Waiting

Tottenham have failed to win this fixture in the past nine campaigns and will be looking to wipe that statistic from their minds.

What is arguably their strongest team for years will walk on to the pitch at White Hart Lane looking to seal a home victory against the league leaders for the first time since May 2001.

Something the Spurs faithful can look back on with fond memories is one of Tottenham’s more famous home wins against United, which came in the 1964-65 season with a 5-1 scoreline and an unforgettable Jimmy Greaves goal.

A similar victory on Sunday seems unlikely, but if any team has the potential to upset Manchester United’s unbeaten season at the moment, it’s Spurs. With Rafael van der Vaart firing on all cylinders and Jermain Defoe seemingly back on goalscoring form with two last weekend, it should be a heated battle.

Manager Harry Redknapp has the belief that United’s run cannot go on forever and will be looking to take all three points on home turf, but has claimed that he will not be asking new arrival David Beckham for tips on beating his former team.

Time To Play Like Champions

Manchester United carried on with their winning ugly demeanor last week against Liverpool in a game that neither team seemed to be able to control, and United were lucky to come away with a victory. Even with an early goal from a Ryan Giggs penalty and the dismissal of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, the Red Devils couldn’t capitalize.

The team from Old Trafford will be hoping to turn that style of play around and start to look like a side that can last the remainder of the season without the expense of a loss.

Striker Wayne Rooney will also be looking to carry on from where he left off against West Brom, before spending United’s last two games on the sidelines with a recurrence of his ankle injury.

Dimitar Berbatov will return to North London wearing the red of Manchester for the third time. However, the striker has never scored in a United shirt at White Hart Lane; his only goal against the club was at the end of his first season for his current team in a 5-2 demolition of Spurs at Old Trafford.


Tottenham Hotspur

There are no fresh injury worries ahead of Sunday’s game, William Gallas (hamstring) and Robbie Keane (hamstring) are expected to have shaken off their injuries and may feature in the game.

Midfielder Tom Huddlestone (ankle) isn’t expected back until early next month and Ledley King (groin), Jamie O’Hara (back) and Jonathan Woodgate (groin) are all far from fitness.

Harry Redknapp rested a few of his key players last weekend for the team’s FA Cup tie against Charlton, such as Rafael van der Vaart, Aaron Lennon and Alan Hutton and all three will be expected to start in what is an important game.

Possible starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Modric, Van der Vaart, Bale; Defoe, Crouch.

Manchester United

The Red Devils could have striker Wayne Rooney (ankle) back for the game at White Hart Lane, but for the moment he is still doubtful. Meanwhile Edwin van der Sar (virus) is in a race against time to be well enough to feature on Sunday afternoon.

John O’Shea (calf) and Paul Scholes (groin) have both come back from long-term injuries, but may be fit enough to play some part in the fixture.

In contrast to their opponents this Sunday, United fielded quite a strong squad in their FA Cup win over Liverpool and may rotate some individuals that didn’t start the game.

Possible starting XI: Kuszczak; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs; Rooney, Berbatov.

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