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Premier League

  • August 22, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 75498

Premier League Preview: Manchester United – Tottenham

Spurs look for positive start to Premier League whilst Red Devils look to continue perfect start to competitive season, with both sides suffering from defensive injury woes

De Gea
Evra, Smalling, Evans, Fabio
Nani, Anderson, Cleverley, Young
Welbeck, Rooney

Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto
Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale
Van der Vaart;
With both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic sidelined with injury, expect Chris Smalling to revert to centre-back alongside Jonny Evans, with Fabio filling in at his natural right-back position and Patrice Evra returning to the side at left-back.

After back to back wins over Manchester City and West Brom, Sir Alex Ferguson may hand a second consecutive start to midfield youngster Tom Cleverley, who was influential in both games, whilst Danny Welbeck should be given further time to bed in up front with Wayne Rooney.

Harry Redknapp will name a similar side to the one that ran rampant in Thursday’s 5-0 Europa League Victory away to Hearts, with Tom Huddlestone and Luka Modric likely to overcome injury concerns and return to the centre of midfield.

The injury list at White Hart Lane remains ever present however, with Steven Pienaar joining William Gallas, Ledley King, Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Jenas on the sidelines in recent weeks.

  • The last time Tottenham tasted victory at Old Trafford was in 1989, when Gary Lineker grabbed the winner for the north Londoners.

  • This is a fixture which rarely goes without controversy. In 2005, Pedro Mendes half-way line effort beat then Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll and crossed the line, only for the goal to be notoriously not given.

  • Last season, Spurs stopper Heurelho Gomes was on the receiving end of further controversy, when Portuguese winger Nani capitalised upon a mix-up between the Brazilian and referee Mark Clattenburg to help the Red Devils to a 2-0 victory.

  • Spurs last beat the current Premier League champions back in May 2001, when they inflicted a 3-1 final day of the season defeat upon Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at White Hart Lane.

  • Monday night’s hosts remained unbeaten at home throughout last season, and only once did they fail to take all three points, with West Brom securing a 2-2 draw at the Theatre of Dreams in October.

  • This will be Tottenham’s first game of the 2011-2012 Premier League season, after last week’s clash at home against Everton was postponed due to civil unrest in the capital.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
12Chris SmallingDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
19Danny WelbeckStriker
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
35Fabio Da SilvaDefender
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
24Brad FriedelGoalkeeper
2Kyle WalkerDefender
5Michael DawsonDefender
4Younes KaboulDefender
32Benoit Assou-EkottoDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
14Jake LivermoreMidfielder
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
18Jermain DefoeStriker
5S. BassongDefender
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
8Tom HuddlestoneMidfielder
8Jermaine JenasMidfielder
17Andros TownsendMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
Players to Watch
David de Gea
David de Gea
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
4 0 0 0

Whilst the Spanish stopper may have fallen victim to hasty judgement from the press and fans alike, the suspicion that the 20-year-old is uncomfortable dealing with shots from distance has reigned true so far.

Monday night’s clash will provide the under-21 international with an opportunity to answer the critics and banish any doubts over his capabilities in his first appearance at Old Trafford.

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The striker endured a disappointing campaign last term, but his lively performance against Heart’s on Thursday showed that the England man is beginning to reap the benefits of a promising pre-season for Spurs.

With Redknapp seemingly prioritising midfield reinforcements ahead of his strike force in this summer’s transfer window, Defoe will look to grasp the opportunity to once again firmly establish himself as Tottenham’s first choice forward.


This fixture has been consistently marred by controversy in recent years, and both sides will no doubt be hopeful that the football and not refereeing decisions take centre stage on Monday night.

With both teams making a positive start to their respective campaigns, I expect a close but entertaining encounter at Old Trafford, with the home sides early season form giving them the edge over Harry Redknapp’s men.

Editor's Prediction

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