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Premier League preview: Tottenham v Manchester United

Tottenham will look to complete an illustrious double over Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side visit White Hart Lane on Sunday.

A win against the league leaders would be significant for a number of reasons; it would significantly bolster Spurs Champions League ambitions, dent United’s seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League and further endear Andre Villas-Boas to the Tottenham fans.

It has been 23 years since England greats Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker were on target to complete Spurs’ most recent double over United and 11 since Tottenham have defeated the Red Devils at home.

Remarkable, given Harry Redknapp’s hugely successful reign before Villas-Boas was charged with the indomitable task of succeeding him.

After a short and painful reign at Chelsea, Villas-Boas was met with suspicion by the White Hart Lane faithful, yet a 2-1 win over United following an end-to-end tussle at Old Trafford in September, changed all that.

Villas-Boas was hired to transform Spurs into a modern European force and is on track to achieve Champions League qualification, which Redknapp secured in 2010.

He has covered the loss of star playmaker Luka Modric and has clearly got the best out of flying winger Gareth Bale and leading scorer Jermaine Defoe.

It must be remembered that despite all his success, Redknapp did not attain a single win over United during his tenure.

On the other side of the coin, United rarely concede league doubles to anyone and will take their excellent record to the Lane.

Ferguson’s men are seven points clear of rivals Manchester City and will deal them another huge mental blow if they can pick up all three points.

The Red Devils are the form team in the league having won nine of their past 10 matches.

Captain Nemanja Vidic is set to overcome concussion to play while Wayne Rooney played the full game in United’s FA Cup third round replay win over West Ham on Wednesday after recovering from a knee injury.

Ashley Young is expected to just miss out with a strained knee but Ferguson has an otherwise full squad to pick from.

Thu 17 January, 2013
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