It is already 23rd weekend of what has been a two horse race at the top end of the table and this is an important weekend for both Tottenham as well as Manchester United. The common reason being one top team lesser to face in the remaining 15 matches to go in order to achieve different ambitions. A win here for Tottenham would get them closer in challenging Chelsea for that guaranteed Champions League Spot and derailing Manchester United’s 7 point lead at the top, thereby helping the defending champions Manchester City. While a win here for the Red Devils would mean cementing their lead at the top towards what could be number 20 this season on a day where their neighbors have already won 2-0.
It has been a month & half since Tottenham have last lost a match recently in Premier League. So finally it seems Andres Villas Boas is getting his plans doing the successful talk, mostly because he has been given free run on what players he needs rather than having the dictatorship rule imposed upon him while he was the former Chelsea manager. It is a great position that spurs currently find themselves in, mainly because of being an inconsistent team earlier in the season where they weren’t focused on putting games to bed much earlier. There are two players who have stood out for the success in attack – Gareth Bale & Jermaine Defoe who have been relentless, ruthless and sharp in their pace, vision, eye for goal and finally troubling the defense.
Certainly, the Spurs players would remember their historic win at Old Trafford after 25 years, “pace” being their main weapon with which they outpaced the Red Devils. With the current Manchester United defense still struggling and not much solid at the back yet, Spurs would surely use this to their favor. And they are not short in the middle of the pitch as well, with players like Dembele, Parker, Lennon and Dempsey, the current Tottenham team is there among the top with quality bench strength. But one area of worry has been their back four where they would want to improve a lot, having conceded 27 times and 2 goals more than the Red Devils.
We here are lost for words about describing the same thing about Manchester United time and time again, week in week out. They have been scoring goals, thanks to Robin Van Persie and off late they have been scoring goals early and conceding them late which was the exact opposite earlier in the season. The other teams fans have been claiming Manchester United have become a one man team mainly because of RVP’s goals, but Sir Alex recently came out with a statement claiming and comparing RVP with Cantona when Cantona’s goals were helping them win matches while the other young players learnt from him.
In addition to that, there has been contribution from other strikers much more than the era of Cantona as well, with Rooney-Chicarito scoring in double digits while Welbeck is still learning and moving up the ranks. This looks like a classic Manchester United team in the making for the future. The mid-field partnership of Carrick and Cleverley is budding and building up into a strong one, while the attack looks ever blooming. The only concern is still the back four just like Spurs, who have conceded 27 times which is still a worrying sign. The Red Devils will sure remember how they were beaten for pace by Bale & Co. earlier this season, and Sir Alex would surely have a plan to counteract this threat from Spurs.
Team and Injury News:
Tottenham Hotspur: Brazilian International Sandro has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage against QPR while defenders William Gallas is out with a Calf Injury and Younes Kaboul is out with a Knee Injury. Striker Emmanuel Adebayor has left for the African Cup of Nations.
Teams Available: Lloris, Friedel, Gomes, Walker, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Caulker, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Falque, Townsend, Livermore, Dempsey, Carroll, Mason, Huddlestone, Parker, Dembele, Bale, Defoe.
Manchester United: Johnny Evans misses out after failing to shrug off a hamstring injury. After a 1-0 victory in the mid-week FA cup, there will be a host of changes up on the team sheet.
Teams Available: Lindegaard, De Gea, Amos, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Anderson, Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa, Nani, Hernandez, Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie.
It was an attacking & thrilling match earlier in the season where Tottenham got the better of Manchester United winning 3-2, thereby making history as it was the first time Tottenham won over more than two decades at Old Trafford.
It has been 23 years since Tottenham completed a “double” over Manchester United last and more importantly it has been 11 years exactly since Tottenham last defeated United at their home. But with the current form, team and pace where Tottenham can match United equally, the wait might as well come to an end for the Spurs fans though it must be noted that Manchester United rarely concede the season double.
For Manchester United, it would be their 10th win in their last 11 games if they win tomorrow. Whereas, there is no stopping one man – Robin Van Persie, who just can’t stop scoring every time he takes to the pitch with 17 goals. And the Mexican Chicarito has supplied in with the goals as well whenever United have been pushed to the limit with Wayne Rooney taking more of a playmaker role assisting 8 times.
Given that Tottenham have a classy attacking team at their disposal with pacey wingers on either side of the pitch in the form of Bale and Lennon and Manchester United equally matching Spurs with their attacking prowess, we predict an attacking feast at White Hart Lane.
For Tottenham – 3-2 (a win)
For Manchester UTD – 4-2 (a win)