Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
Date: Sunday 1st December, 2013
Time: 12:00 KO BST
Venue: White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London (36,240)
Andre Villas-Boas on tackling United after the win in Leverkusen: “They are on a good run that changed their fortunes. We don’t expect an easy match, but it will be a completely different story on Sunday. I’m not being disrespectful, but it will be a different game in different conditions and our players will be mentally ready.”
Spurs come into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over Tromso in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Andre Villas Boas made nine changes to the side that lost 6-0 to Manchester City last weekend. Several recalls are to be expected.
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is a doubt, however, with a groin injury.
Christian Eriksen remains sidelined with an ankle sprain.
Danny Rose will also miss out with an ankle injury.
Four players – Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Paulinho have started every league match so far.
Spurs have scored a paltry 9 league goals this season – only the bottom two have scored fewer.
Spurs have kept 7 clean sheets this season – the most in the division.
Summer signing Roberto Soldado top scores for the Lilywhites with 4 goals from 12 league appearances.
Predicted line-up: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen, Paulinho, Sandro, Holtby, Lamela, Townsend, Soldado
Home record: P6 W3 D1 L2 F5 A5 Pts10 (10th)
Home form: W W D L W L
David Moyes reflect on the Leverkusen win ahead of the trip to Tottenham: “We have seen a standard which is probably better than what we have shown in most other games this season. We have to play like that more often and more consistently.”
Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic “have a chance” of returning to the side.
Marouane Fellaini will also be available after missing the win in Leverkusen through suspension.
Darren Fletcher, while making steady progress, remains out.
Michael Carrick also misses the game with his ongoing Achilles injury.
Rafael could be involved after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.
Otherwise, the squad is in fairly rude health ahead of the difficult trip south.
“They have a chance, they’ve all got a chance,” Moyes added, hinting at competition for places.
After such an impressive display in Germany, the manager may have to fight the temptation to alter a winning team.
Should van Persie be recalled, the impressive-in-the-number-ten-role Shinji Kagawa could be shunted back to the left-hand side. (cries)
Having rolled back the years midweek, and on the weekend of his 40th birthday, Ryan Giggs could make a second successive start.
“Every season, you can look at Ryan Giggs moments and to be playing so well at his age is terrific. He’s a great example to young players,” Moyes said of the Welshman.
Predicted line-up: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Jones, Giggs, Nani, Kagawa, Rooney
Away record: P6 W3 D1 L2 F12 A10 Pts10 (2nd)
Away form: W L L W W D
Record at White Hart Lane: P85 W25 D29 L31 F109 A139
Last five meetings at White Hart Lane
Spurs 1-1 United (20-01-13)
Spurs 1-3 United (04-03-12)
Spurs 0-0 United (16-01-11)
Spurs 1-3 United (12-09-09)
Spurs 0-0 United (13-12-08)
Referee: Mike Dean.
The 45-year-old official has taken charge of 8 Premier League matches this season, brandishing 29 yellow cards and 2 reds. He has yet to award a penalty. Was last seen by United fans during the 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City back in April.
Assistants: J Collin, P Bankes.
Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss.
Should they start, David de Gea and Chris Smalling will both make their 100th appearance for Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney is three goals away from scoring 150 league goals for United.
United have not lost at White Hart Lane in over twelve years – since a 3-1 defeat back in May 2001.
United’s only defeat in their last 28 league and cup meetings with Tottenham came at Old Trafford last season (W20, D7, L1).
Spurs have yet to earn a point from a losing position this season.
United have conceded at least one goal in each of the last nine Premier League away games, the worst run since an 11-match run between August 2002 and January 2003.
Excluding a penalty, Spurs have not scored with any of their last 78 shots at goal in the Premier League.
United’s tally of 21 points from 12 games is the club’s worst return since the 2004-05 season.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in six of United’s last seven away games in the Premier League.
Score prediction: Spurs 1-3 United