After last weeks` splendid win, at Anfield, over Liverpool, Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to White Hart Lane this Saturday for a late afternoon kick-off. Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping to keep the momentum going that has seen United win the last four league games, having lost the opening fixture of the season. A win will see United keep up the pressure on those seeking to match them at the top of the table.
Ahead of the clash Tom Cleverley has spoken about developing that ruthless streak needed to set you apart form other teams, a ruthless streak that means not taking your foot of the pedal, with Tom remarking,
“We know when we are winning two or three-nil we need to go and win five or six-nil.”
“It does not need the manager to tell us we let sides back into games last season.”
“With 60 or 70 games a season, if you`re two or three up you might think ‘We have another big game Tuesday so we can`t take our foot off the gas now.”
“But we have a squad to cope with the number of games so we can go all out for 95 minutes every game.”
Could we be about to put Tottenham to the sword?
United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson welcomed back Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher for the midweek Capital One Cup fixture against Newcastle and both will be hoping to be granted a place in the starting eleven.
But Sir Alex has problems in the heart of his defence with the news breaking, earlier this week, relating to Nemanja Vidic, in joining two other centre backs in Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the injured list.
Ashley Young remains side-lined to with an injury that appears to be lingering on and he is joined on the sidelines by Antonio Valencia who picked up a knock at Anfield last Sunday.
Player to watch: Robin Van Persie
The Dutchman will be hoping to add to his growing tally of goals especially against his former clubs deadly rivals.
Spurs Team News:
Since taking over from Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas has reshaped the Spurs squad by bringing in the likes of Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Hugo Lloris whilst also signing Emanuel Adebayor on a permanent deal. Amongst those to have departed though is Rafael van der Vaart whilst the influential defender, Ledley King, has been forced to hang up his boots.
Likely to be missing from the Spurs squad is Kyle Naughton who picked up a knock in the recent fixture against Queens Park Rangers.
Player to watch: Moussa Dembele
Rumour has it that United were interested in bringing the Belgian playmaker to Old Trafford, only time will tell if it is a decision we`ll live to rue.
Match Facts & Stats
Spurs head to Old Trafford having not won in the league there since Dec 1989. Since then they have visited Old Trafford a staggering 26 times without getting a win and shockingly losing 22 of those 26 including 9 on the bounce.
If we look at all competitions home and away matters get worse for the North London side with United having complied a 26 game unbeaten run winning 22 of those 26 games.
Harping on about Spurs last win at Old Trafford, back in 1989, its worth pointing out that Danny Welbeck, David de Gea, Fabio da Silva and Phil Jones were not even born then!
Can Andre Villas-Boas get a first Spurs win, against United, since Spurs beat us at White Hart Lane in 2001?
Our referee for this fixture will be Chris Foy aided by his two assistants A. Garratt and H. Lennard with M. Clattenburg as the fourth official.
Spurs never seem to fare well at Old Trafford and nothing, under the new leadership of Andre Villas-Boas suggests to me that will change. Last season Villas-Boas bought his Chelsea side to Old Trafford and they were well beaten, this Saturday could see more of the same dished out. I`m going for a 3-1 United win.
United`s next Premier League fixture sees us travel to take on Newcastle United, at St James Park.