Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
Andre Villas-Boas: “The win at Old Trafford was inspiring for everyone at the Club and it will inspire us this weekend.”
Spurs will be looking to complete the rare feat of a league double over United. After surgery on a knee injury, Brazilian midfield Sandro is out for the season. Younes Kaboul also misses out (knee), while Emmanuel Adebayor is at the African Cup of Nations. William Gallas is a doubt, but could make it. Spurs have a record of 7 wins and 1 draw from their last 8 games at home. Jermain Defoe is their top league goalscorer with 10, but has only 1 goal in his last 7 matches.
Predicted Spurs line-up: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton, Parker, Dembele, Lennon, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe
Manager: Andre Villas-Boas
Stadium: White Hart Lane (36,240)
Home record: P11 W6 D3 L2 F17 A11 Pts21
Home form: L W W W D W
Sir Alex Ferguson on the trip to White Hart Lane: “We have a fantastic record there… There’s always a good atmosphere and we enjoy playing there. But we can’t take anything for granted. We have a hard game on Sunday. We have to perform.”
Jonny Evans missing with the hamstring injury which ruled him out against West Ham in the week. Darren Fletcher will miss the rest of the season after surgery on his bowel condition. Ashley Young a serious doubt. Otherwise, strangely, SAF has a full-fit squad to chose from, with Wayne Rooney, Nani and Anderson all coming through unscathed midweek. Fit again captain, Nemanja Vidic, likely to partner Rio Ferdinand in defence. Since losing at Norwich, United have reeled off 9 wins and 1 draw in the league.
Predicted United line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Kagawa, Rooney, van Persie
Away record: P11 W8 D1 L2 F26 A15 Pts25
Away form: W L W W D W
Recent meetings at White Hart Lane: 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: Chris Foy. Has officiated 14 Premier League fixtures this season, brandishing 22 yellow cards and not a single red. No penalties awarded thus far, either.
2012/13 head-to-head (PL)
Goals: (Spurs) 39 – (United) 56
Conceded: 27 – 29
Top scorer: Jermain Defoe (10) – Robin van Persie (17)
Assists: Aaron Lennon (5) – Wayne Rooney (7)
Disciplinary: 32 yellows, 2 reds – 36 yellows, 0 reds
Shots per game: 18.1 – 15.8
Average possession: 51% – 57.8%
Pass success rate: 83.7% – 86.8%
Best passer: Mousa Dembele (55.2/91.2%) – Michael Carrick (81.7/88.2%)
Most starts: Lennon (22) – Carrick, Evra (21)
United are unbeaten at White Hart Lane for almost 12 years. Since a 3-1 defeat back in 2001, United have recorded 8 wins and 3 draws.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of United’s last 10 Premier League away games.
Should Tottenham win, it will complete their first league double over United since 1989/90.
While Gareth Bale has been in good goalscoring form this season (9), he only has 1 assist to his name. Aaaron Lennon is Tottenham’s highest assister with 5 – Patrice Evra has 4.
Tottenham have conceded only 7 first-half goals this season – the best record in the Premier League.
Should Ryan Giggs feature, it will be his 650th league appearance for Manchester United.
Tottenham has dropped 16 points from winning positions this season, the league’s 4th worst record. United have gained 24 points from losing positions, the league’s best.
Score prediction: Tottenham 2-3 United
What do you think the score will be against Tottenham?