Manchester United are set to host Tottenham on Saturday, September 29, with Spurs in search of a win against the Red Devils that has eluded them for the past 23 years. While United are in second place behind Chelsea on the points table, Tottenham are six places below them, in eighth place, ahead of match week six.
In some bad news for the hosts on Saturday, both Vidic and Valencia have been laid low by injury ahead of the game with Andre Villas-Boas’ wards. Vidic’s knee injury in particular will bring greater pressure to bear on Ferdinand and Evans both of whom were left out of the mid-week Capital Cup game against Newcastle. Rooney and Fletcher’s return to match fitness is a silver lining, though.
Rooney’s return should ease the pressure on Van Persie, who has been United’s lone flag bearer in attack, in recent weeks. Valencia’s injury has come at a particularly inopportune moment for the Old Trafford side, as Young is also indisposed while Nani has not been at the top of his game. Goals by Cleverly and Anderson against Newcastle on wednesday gives Sir Alex a few additional attack options.
Villas-Boas had a torrid time at the helm at Chelsea last season before his misery was cut short thorough his sacking. The Portuguese coach is however riding high, currently, after Spurs’ back-to-back wins against Reading and QPR. Ahead of the Old Trafford game, though, Villas-Boas has to contend with the absence through injury of Assou-Ekotto and Kaboul, adding to the fact that Adebayor is yet to recover to match fitness and is also unlikely to play.
All this points to a greater reliance, in midfield, on Dembele, the star signing of the season, to deliver the goods. Jermaine Defoe, with his scoring exploits (with four goals logged this season), is another welcome prospect, especially in Adebayor’s absence.
Always tough to beat at home, Man United’s brilliant record of the last two decades against Tottenham is unlikely to be dented on the weekend though their weakened defence in the absence of Vidic could be tested by the likes of Sigurdsson, Sandro and Dembele.
Man United’s probable eleven: Lindegarrd, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverly, Kagawa, Nani, Rooney, Van Persie.
Tottenham’s probable eleven: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Lennon, Bale, Defoe.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.