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Premier League

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


PROBABLE LINEUPS
MANCHESTER UNITED
 
De Gea
Evra, Smalling, Evans, Fabio
Nani, Anderson, Cleverley, Young
Welbeck, Rooney

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
 
Gomes
Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto
Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale
Van der Vaart;
Defoe
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.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • 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.

Players to watch

De Gea

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 12

  • 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.

J. Defoe

Position: Attacker

Games: 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.

Editor's Prediction

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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur

Wins
1
2
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Draw
Tottenham Hotspur FC TOT
Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham Hotspur
78%
15%

Top 3 Predictions

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

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