After the midweek victory over Newcastle in the Capital One cup, Manchester United are back in business at Old Trafford once again in the league today as we entertain AVB’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham visit Old Trafford today with a less than impressive record at the Theatre of Dreams. Without a win since 1989, they have played 26, lost 22, and picking up a draw on just 4 occasions. However, you can’t read much into the history books. Despite a slow start for Spurs, they have won the last 2 games in the league, as well as progressing in the Capital One Cup in midweek also.
United go into the game looking for their 7th straight victory in all competitions, with the opening day defeat to Everton, the only mark on United’s impressive record this campaign. However, as our crippling injury list looked as if it was starting to ease with Wayne Rooney’s midweek return, it strikes again. With the news that Vidic is out for 8 weeks and Antonio Valencia has an ankle injury, United are down to 2 senior centre backs, Ferdinand and Evans, and only one winger, in the form of the ever frustrating, Nani. During midweek United did however play a midfield 3 with no real wingers and I wonder if Ferguson would do the same today against Spurs.
Despite David de Gea being between the sticks in midweek, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Anders Lindegaard restored today after a decent display against Liverpool last weekend. Our back 4 pretty much picks itself as they are the only fit defenders at the club. However, Fergie did comment that young Scott Wooton would be involved today, but it is yet to be seen if that is from the bench. However further up the field it isnt so easy to pick the team. Carrick seems undropable, Scholes is still one of the finest midfielders in the world and can change any game, where Anderson and Cleverley played really well in midweek as part of that midfield 3. Fletcher is also improving but I doubt will start today after his 90 mins on Wednesday.
Up front we have the same dilema. Our current goal scoring hero Robin van Persie is available, whilst Wayne Rooney, back from injury and fresh from an impressive shift against Newcastle is also in contention. We also have Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, who seems to have improved his all round gameplay lately, and who could forget Shinji Kagawa. A nice dilemma for Fergie.
For me though, Tottenham certainly wont be a push over. They have a fantastic midfield, a decent back 4 as well as Jermaine Defoe up front, who has scored 4 in 5 already this season. Another one today would be his 200th for Spurs. It will also be Moussa Dembeles 2nd Old Trafford appearance of the season after he performed so impressively 5 weeks ago for Fulham. Add to that the pace on the flanks from Bale and Lennon, as well as Dempsey and Sigurdson in the middle, Spurs will provide the toughest test at home so far this season
Predicted LineupLindegaard Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra. Anderson, Carrick, Cleverley. Kagawa, RVP, Rooney.
As always, with United being at home and in slightly better form, we are odds on favourites for this one, 8/15. A spurs win is available at 5/1 and the draw, 3/1. One bet that caught my eye is a 20/1 shot at the correct score of 3-2 to United, a score that’s already happened on 2 occasions this season already. 3-1 is available at 10/1.
Speaking of goals, its Uniteds men who dominate the goalscoring odds. With RVP being 4/5 to score at any time whilst Rooney is evens. Tottenham’s Jermaine Defoe is 5/2.
(odds correct as of 08:30 BST with Ladbrokes)