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Ahead Of Our Game Against Spurs…

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Spurs have been our whipping boys for years so it was a shock when they managed to beat us 3-2 at Old Trafford earlier this season. Conceding three times wasn’t much of a surprise, given how regularly we concede goals these days, but when we battered them in the second half but didn’t even manage to draw level, I could hardly believe it. Not just because we were creating enough chances to win a game, but because Spurs have a history of going ahead against us, only to crumble when we apply pressure. We completed 627 passes against them, to their 188, and had 76% possession, yet Spurs wouldn’t be ground down and wouldn’t concede their lead. Maybe that was good luck, something Spurs fans will bore you to tears saying they deserve against us, or maybe this Spurs team has more about them than their teams of years gone by.

Only United, City and West Brom have a better home record than Spurs this season, with them winning 6 of the 11 games they’ve played at White Hart Lane. Thankfully, we have the best away record in the league, having already beaten City, Chelsea and Liverpool away from home. That’s not to say we will make light work of Spurs, but we also have little reason to be fearful. A key injury for them is that of Sandro, a player who wouldn’t look out of place at United, which should give us a helping hand in the midfield battle.

Hopefully Carrick and Cleverley will start in the centre of the midfield but we’re hardly spoilt for choice when it comes to the wings. Nani had a great opportunity to stake a claim for a starting position in the cup midweek but had a typically poor performance. It was his first game back since injury but he looked as though he picked up where he left off, sadly, with poor decision making and wayward shooting. Shinji Kagawa had a good game on the left against Liverpool so it would make sense for him to play there again whilst Valencia, who has struggled for form this season, will likely play on the right, largely thanks to having no competition, since Ashley Young’s injury. He has been declared fit to play but with all his recent injuries, the boss might not want to take any risks.

More positive injury news is that Nemanja Vidic, who went off limping on Wednesday, will be available for today’s game. With Jonny Evans still missing, this is a huge boost for us at the back. Wayne Rooney is back in the team now, which should be a bonus, although I can’t claim I hope he’s on penalty taking duty today. He’s missed ten for us now, which is poor, having missed five of his last nine. Robin van Persie isn’t flawless from the penalty spot but you’d fancy him to score more than you would Wazza. Van Persie has scored in all of our big games so far this season and will be up for scoring in a game when his every touch will be booed by the home fans, who aren’t the biggest fans of the former Arsenal man. Ahead of the West Ham game I was watching him warm up and he somehow managed to make simple passing between his team mates look impressive. Lovely first touches, clever flicks, pinpoint accuracy, Van Persie is just a cut above.

With City winning yesterday, the gap has been cut to four points. Ideally, we obviously want to return to the seven point margin, but a draw would be a good enough result here, with Spurs likely to be buoyed by their victory at Old Trafford. Even a defeat wouldn’t be a disaster but it might bring about a bit of a swing in momentum between us and our title rivals.

Come on United!

bwin bets – £20 would win you…
Van Persie to score first: £100
Carrick to score any time: £160
United to win 2-1: £180
Spurs winning at half-time, United winning at full-time: £520

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Take me to Old Trafford says:

    Itz revenge time.

  2. WeAreUnited says:

    last time we slept in the beginning.

    We showed them i nthe second half.

    This time, Tottenham will not even move. they be freexed with the snow.

    3-1 to us.

  3. iDon says:

    They will pay today

  4. billy says:

    I am feeling confident about this one.


  5. Tourist says:

    Hope the game goes ahead but it always seems that when they get a bit of snow in London/south east they start to act like Corporal Jones – don’t panic!

  6. andromeda says:

    Would be very entertaining game this evening, though a cautious approach in the first half will prevent us making the same mistakes we did at Oldtrafford.I fancy the lad to outgun the likes of Bale and Defoe.Rooney should step up, hopefully he will.

  7. Costas says:

    It’s the kind of game we needed Evans and Young. Hopefully we will cope without them. If Fergie starts with Kagawa instead of Nani, then I’d rather see us play a diamond formation. Shinji is ineffective on the wing.

  8. DreadedRed says:

    Statement on Tottenham’s website: “Today’s match against Manchester United remains on at this point in time. However, the situation is being monitored and much will depend on whether or not there is any substantial snow before kick off.”

  9. mac70 says:

    Thankfully evras not fit as lennon always takes the piss

  10. KVN says:

    Hope Anderson plays in a three man midfield of Carrick, Cleverly and Anderson. Good that Vidic is back as we need to cope with the pace of Spurs. I’d keep Rooney on the bench with Kagawa to start because he’s needs to earn his place.

  11. Sean says:

    I have a feeling Nani will start on the right

  12. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Why can’t we just start Kagawa on one end and Nani on the other? Valencia has been dire this season so far. This isn’t a game for experimenting. Kagawa drops back like Young does. Nani will also be instructed to fall back everytime we lose the ball. I also think we should start welbeck ahead of Rooney. Works much much harder. Get Rooney on in the second when the Spurs team is a bit tired. We’ve got ot be awake for every second of this game. Last time we slept our way through the first half and we got fucked. Can’t allow that to happen this time.

  13. WeAreUnited says:


    I agree with you, kagawa on the left and nani o nthe right. they will do the job

    only thing what I would change is start rooney.

  14. fergie is the boss says:

    Costas – I do feel kagwa can be used on the left, like the david silva role, where he cuts inside and makes those eye of the needle passes, I feel its the only role he can play in, when we have allot of our weapons fully fit

  15. fergie is the boss says:

    danny – I disagree, it’s nani’s first game back, he needs to be eased in, not thrown to the lions, even though valencia has been poor, he is fully fit match wise, nani is not. So for me, my starting 11 would be

    rafeal ferdinand evans evra
    carrick cleverly
    valenciia kagwa
    RVP hernandez

  16. parryheid says:

    That’s the team I would go with no room for puny players like Nani for these games.

  17. fergie is the boss says:

    scratch that, welbeck instead of hernandez

  18. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    They’re gonna call this game off. Absolute joke. The tubes and trains are running fine in and about London.

  19. Curtis says:

    Doesn’t look like we gonna have game today from the rumours on Twitter and pictures of the ground etc
    If it does go ahead we know for certain that Chelsea were running scared 2 years ago because today’s situation is 10 x worse at the bridge too.. joke of a club

  20. denton davey says:

    Scott: “Sandro, a player who wouldn’t look out of place at United”

    Totally agree. Bad luck with serious injuries.

    KVN @ 14:47: “Hope Anderson plays in a three man midfield of Carrick, Cleverly and Anderson.”

    I’d like to see that, too. Let NinjaEvra/LittleRedRafa deal with Lennon/Bale and force them into the clogged middle.

  21. wayne says:

    Just watching the half time show Rentboys/gunners,said the snows falling quicker than Spurs ground staff can clear then show a couple of old guys with shovels,they have to be having a laugh fucking wind up

  22. Costas says:

    Has the EPL heard of an orange ball? How bad can the WHL pitch be?

  23. Curtis says:

    It’s pathetic to use the fans and transport as an excuse most of the match going fans will already be there in a pub 4 hours before kick off! And the other 30k spurs fans should be too.. as they like to say they support there local club so it shouldn’t be too far to walk there then.. so why blame transport

  24. Sushi says:

    What the fuck? Y r they such fuckin cunts about a few cm of snow. Better yet wrf have spurs been doing since yesterday? Fucking cheap twats get some Heaters

  25. Curtis says:

    It’s not the pitch that’s a concern it’s transport/getting to the ground that’s apparently an issue

  26. Sushi says:

    Oh bull shit so whts all this bs about ref and pitch inspection? What they gonna have the fucking ref go and inspect te fuckig rail road and train tracks?

  27. Sushi says:

    Game is 2 hours away wouldn’t the fans away ones anyway be there already?

  28. andromeda says:

    Apparently they are avoiding us at this moment!!

    If its postponed then I am afraid it would be incredibly a big thorn to our long title run.

  29. wayne says:

    Yes it is the fucking pitch nothing to do with transport just fucking watched these 2 old muppets with shovels

  30. Ash says:

    How much time is left for the inspection to happen?

  31. wayne says:

    Ash beginning of the Rent Boy 2nd half said 25 mins

  32. wayne says:

    The games on fucking A I’m so fucking pumped

  33. Curtis says:

    They’ve opened there turnstiles game on?
    Gotta love spurs the penny pinching cunts! with two 60+ shovelling away hope it goes ahead


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