United host one of those fixtures this weekend that gives you one of those magical kick-backs to another era. The mere mention of a fixture with Spurs is enough to visualize this epic encounters we had when all you got on television were black and white pictures. Today off course, the televised market is flooded with football but a home tie with Spurs is still an attention grabbing fixture, even if the London club might be viewed, by some, as our feeder-club these days!
Spurs, competing in the Champions League and doing well in the Premier League, are not a side short of confidence and ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, Luka Modric has banged their drum by remarking,
“We`re ready, why not?”
“We showed in the second half against Inter that we can compete against the best teams on the world and United is certainly one of the best teams in the world.
‘But why not go there and try to win? I know Tottenham haven’t won at Old Trafford for a long time, so why not now?
‘It’s the best stage to play, the best stadium and it will be a great game for us. I hope we can do something there.’
I told you they were a confident lot!
United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson will, no doubt, make a multitude of changes to the eleven that started the recent Carling Cup fixture against Wolves. Van Der Sar, Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Scholes and Berbatov will all, most likely, return.
Not featuring though will be long term injury victim Valencia whilst Rooney will be resting his troublesome ankle injury in the luxury of a Dubai hotel. Owen, after tweaking another muscle, will also be out.
We fully expect that Hernandez will start; after all, the golden boy can do no wrong at this current moment in time.
Whether Sir Alex selects the old war-horse Neville remains to be seen, last weeks forty-five minute outing (at Stoke) probably gave Sir Alex food for thought!
Spurs old-boys, Berbatov and Carrick will be hoping the fixture proves special to them with out-standing displays.
Player to watch: Nemanja Vidic
Our team captain sometimes gets over-shadowed by the presence of Rio Ferdinand but it should never be forgotten that Vidic is the guy who holds the defence together, the guy who has a ruggedness and a doggedness about him that sets him apart from others.
Spurs Team News:
Harry Redknapp recently suggested that his side were possibly three player`s quality players away from mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title, although recent early season form implies that the North London side are not far away from making a serious challenge without those three players.
Spurs do have injury concerns with Jermain Defoe unlikely to feature and there`s always a concern about Ledley King being available. Jonathan Woodgate remains a long term absentee and there may be two or three others not quite 100%.
But, Harry does have talent at his disposal and the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Aaaron Lennon and Peter Crouch are quite capable of influencing any game.
Player to watch: Gareth Bale
An outstanding prospect and only a matter of time before he`s snapped up by a bigger team. Will he becoming to Old Trafford and follow the tried and trusted route followed by Carrick and Berbatov, it remains to be seen but don`t write such a suggestion off.
Match Facts & Stats
In the Premier League, United got their first away win of the season at Stoke last time out. Their home form is a lot better but points have still been dropped, most notably last time out when Roberto Di Matteo inspired his side to comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.
Earlier in the season though Newcastle, West Ham and Liverpool have all been beaten!
Spurs have suffered mixed fortunes on the road, The North London side won at Fulham bit were beaten by West Ham in their last two away Premier League fixtures.
A recent Champions League game, against Inter Milan, saw Spurs slip to a 4-0 deficit before a Gareth Bale hat trick made the score line look more than respectable.
If United can stop conceding goals after establishing a lead our nerves will all be a lot calmer. Wolves were the latest to show that the trait remains and Spurs, with all their attacking options, could well, given the chance open us up. But with a new mood I the camp, following the Rooney contract signing and two good wins, we expect United to kick on and win what could quite easily be a high scoring game. United to win a five goal thriller by the odd goal in five anyone!
We`re off to Turkey to play Bursaspor in the Champions League in midweek followed by a home game with Wolves, in the Premier League.