Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur V Manchester United
United travel to White Hart Lane on Saturday in a top of the table Premier League clash. Spurs have won their first four games in a row but United can bring them crashing back to reality if they manage to take all three points in London. These two sides usually produce some decent encounters and I for one am hoping for more of the same this weekend.
Wayne Rooney put in a terrific display for England against Croatia and he returned unschathed. The tricky forward should go into the game against Spurs full of confidence after bagging his 25th international goal and he could well terrorise the Spurs defence. Former Tottenham man Dimitar Berbatov has vowed to silence his critics and has stated he will ‘ sweat blood for this club. I want to create and score goals’ and it may be woth placing an anytime goalscorer bet on Berba netting against his former employers. In what could be a massive bosst it seems as if Rio Ferdinand may be ready to make his first appearance of the Premier League season.
Sir Alex confirmed Rio could well be fit to play at White Hart Lane: “Rio has been in training this week and has a got a chance for Saturday, I’m not sure how big a chance but he has got a chance.”
Wes Brown was an unused substitute for England and will prbably be included in the squad for Saturday. Gary Neville and Fabio da Silva are also back in contention and Ferguson has better options at the back than he has had so far this season.
He added: “We’re better off than we have been for months, in terms of defensive options,”
However, goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar, newboy Gabriel Obertan and long-term abnsentee Owen Hargreaves will all miss the game on Saturday through injury.
Spurs have some big injury concerns of their own to worry about and Croatian ace Luka Modric will certainly miss this one after suffering a leg-break in his side’s last outing. Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson and Gareth Bale are all missing at the back and boss Harry Redknapp certainly doesn’t have his best defence available to keep Roooney and co quiet.
Jermaine Jenas could be in line to return against United but personally I’m not sure Redknapp will bring him back against the current champions and may chose to wait another week or so before bringing him back into the fold.
Spurs aren’t top of the table for no reason and they have plenty of players who can cause problems. Big man up front Peter Crouch may not be the most graceful of players but his physical attributes alone make him a danger and he has the chance to score every time a decent cross comes into the box. Jermaine Defoe has been on fire of late and the United defence will have to work hard to keep the England striker quiet. In midfield the pace and guile of Aaron Lennon can get the better of even the most accomplished of defenders and for me he is the real danger man in the Spurs side.
The Premier League betting odds have United down as favourites to take all three points in this encounter despite Spurs fine start to the season. After beating Arsenal in their last outing a victory over Spurs would move United into second place (perhaps even first if Stoke beat Chelsea…). There have been some great games between these two sides over the years and with the talent available to both managers this one should be no different.
Tottenham: Cudicini, Corluka, King, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Huddlestone, Kranjcar, Keane, Defoe.
Man Utd: Foster, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney.