28th September 2012
Manchester United will be aiming to extend their winning run to six games in all competitions when they welcome Tottenham to Old Trafford. Spurs, on the other hand, have finally hit the ground running, and after winning three of their last four matches, they travel to Manchester full of confidence.
Manchester United may have started the season with a disappointing defeat at Goodison Park, but their results have been pretty impressive ever since. I intentionally say results because while the Red Devils have won six straight games, their performances leave a lot to be desired. Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to be too worried by the under-par showings as long as his side keep winning, but another average performance could be punished by in-form Tottenham. The Capitol One Cup victory over Newcastle saw both Darren Fletcher and Wayne Rooney return into action, while Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez got some much needed playing time which had been very restricted since the arrival of Robin van Persie. Fergie faces a genuine selection headache now that Nemanja Vidic has joined Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in the infirmary, but at least Wayne Rooney is available for selection after two weeks on the sidelines.
Having done most of their transfer dealings after the season had already started, Tottenham were always going to have some problems in the opening stage of the league campaign, but the good news is Spurs are back on track. Back to back Premier League victories over Reading and QPR saw the players restore much of the lost confidence, while promising showings against Lazio and Carlisle in Europa League and League Cup respectively ensured the team travel to Old Trafford high on spirits. Andre Villas-Boas has been heavily criticized for his team selection, namely for leaving Hugo Lloris and Michael Dawson on the bench, but the highly rated duo is likely to be dropped after featuring in midweek against Carlisle. Emmanuel Adebayor, Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jake Livermore and Younes Kaboul are all our injured, but Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe and Moussa Dembele return after being rested in midweek.
With both teams flying high at the moment, goals should be the order of the day at Old Trafford. Manchester United will have Wayne Rooney back to partner free-scoring RVP, whereas Tottenham are relying on Defoe, Bale, Lennon and Dempsey all looking to hurt United’s injury-plagued defence.
Verdict: Both teams to score