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January 16, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
White Hart Lane — London
Referee:‬ M. Dean‎
Attendance:‬ 35828‎

Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester United

Spurs aiming for first win against United at home for 10 years

By Sam Bisby

Harry Redknapp(Getty Images)
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 demeanour 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 capitalise.

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 reccurrence 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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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
6Alan HuttonDefender
20Michael DawsonDefender
13William GallasDefender
32Benoit Assou-EkottoDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
25Peter CrouchStriker
23Carlo CudiciniGoalkeeper
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
5S. BassongDefender
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
18Jermain DefoeStriker
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
5Rio FerdinandDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
11Ryan GiggsMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
12Chris SmallingDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
10Michael OwenStriker
Probable Lineups
Gomes 1
Alan Hutton 6
Michael Dawson 20
William Gallas 13
Benoit Assou-Ekotto 32
Aaron Lennon 7
W. Palacios 8
Luka Modric 19
Gareth Bale 11
Rafael van der Vaart 23
Peter Crouch 25
Edwin van der Sar 1
Rafael Silva 21
Rio Ferdinand 5
Nemanja Vidic 15
Patrice Evra 3
Darren Fletcher 24
Nani 17
Ryan Giggs 11
Michael Carrick 16
Dimitar Berbatov 9
Wayne Rooney 10
Manchester United need to rein in a performance if they are to catch Tottenham out at The Lane, but their consistency in getting results in tough games means that they might just pip Spurs to a victory.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
15 0