It`s off to London, well North London to be precise, for a fascinating Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday afternoon. Sir Alex Ferguson will enter this fixture knowing how our title rivals, Manchester City, have done on Saturday. With City expected t brush aside Fulham, Sir Alex will be hoping that his United side can beat Spurs to keep the gap, at the top, as it was before the round of fixtures this weekend.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the master of mind-games, it`s a trait he`s developed successfully over the years. Ahead of our clash with Spurs we`re wondering if the wily Scot is at it again. One topic Sir Alex touched on was that of the recent rescinding of the red card awarded to our rivals central defender, Vincent Kompany.
Talking about the subject of the rescinding of the card, Sir Alex remarked about it being something, namely appeal, all clubs will do from now on,
“That`s bound to happen now, but they`ll probably turn them all down now.”
“It does open the door, of course, but that`s their (FA`s) problem. I`m not going to go into it.”
Has Sir Alex planted a few seeds in minds relating to a possible red card appeal from ourselves in the future?
Spurs Team News:
Andre Villas Boas, settling in quite nicely in the White Hart Lane hot-seat, is expected to give the experienced Scott Parker a start in midfield now that the player has put his ankle problems behind him. Parker is likely to start in place of Sandro who collected a knee injury, last time out, which will see him side-lined until the summer.
Elsewhere, Emmanuel Adebayor will not be available for selection after he decided, finally, to represent his country in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Player to watch: Gareth Bale
More than decent, a legend in the making but not at Spurs. He`ll need a bigger stage to grace to prove just how good he can be.
United Team News:
We`ve no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson will shuffle his pack for this fixture in North London. However, injuries could help shape his final selection with Jonny Evans troubled with a hamstring injury, Sir Alex is likely to turn to the experienced duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the heart of his defence.
Out wide, Ashley Young remains side-lined so we could see Nani make his fist Premier League start for ages.
Up front, we expect Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to be tasked with plundering the goals to bring us the three points.
Player to watch: Robin van Persie
The ex-Arsenal forward will relish putting one over on his former rivals, so don`t be too surprised if he adds to his goal tally, probably hitting the winner.
Match Facts & Stats
United head to London looking for revenge after Tottenham won at Old Trafford earlier this season. If the unthinkable happens and Spurs win on Sunday, it`ll be the first time that Spurs have done the double over us since 1989/1990. Incidentally, the win at Old Trafford was the first time Spurs have beaten us in 27 attempts.
Our record at White Hart Lane though is pretty decent. The last time we lost there was back in May 2001 when we succumbed 3-1 in a Premier League fixture.
The officials appointed to take charge of this fixture are:-
Referee – C. Foy
Assistant – S. Beck
Assistant – M. McDonnough
Fourth Official – L. Mason
White Hart Lane can be a difficult place to go. Tottenham are one of those teams that, on their day, can beat anyone, but, they`re also prone to produce the odd inept performance. There`s no doubting their attacking prowess and with our ‘wobbly` defence, we could be in for a high-scoring game but I reckon United will shade it, possibly by the odd goal in five.
United`s next fixture is against Fulham, next Saturday, in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Kick off at Old Trafford is at 17:30.