Writer: Red Boy
Date:Saturday March 3 2012
White Hart Lane
United face a second successive Premier League away match, as they seek to hang onto the tails of Manchester City in what is turning into a great title race.
After securing all three points with a last gasp winner at Carrow Road, last weekend, Sir Alex knows that a fixture against Spurs could be as equally trying.
Sir Alex, already this season, has described Spurs as a side that plays the best football in the Premier League and Harry Redknapp, still smarting from the heavy loss to Arsenal, last weekend, will be ken to get his side back on winning ways and to close the gap between ourselves, in second, and his side, in third. It promises to be a fascinating encounter.
Sir Alex certainly seems to have a great deal of admiration for Spurs and ahead of the game the boss had this to say about our opponents this weekend,
"Tottenham is always an interesting game with the history of both clubs and it`s a very important game for us."
"You would certainly say that building up to a game that could turn out to be the decider against Manchester City later in the season, Tottenham is our hardest away game."
But we`d like to add, a game we must win if we are to stay on the tails of City and head towards the Etihad Stadium ready to beat them and overtake them on April 30th.
Harry Redknapp will be able to welcome back Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker, Rafael Van der Vaart and Ledley King after all look to have recovered from minor knocks.
However, the new England captain, although probably not the new permanent captain, Scot Parker, will be absent after picking up a red card at the Emirates Stadium last time out.
If I were to be honest, probably the only player in the Spurs side that I`d like in our starting eleven, that is, unless of course, they could offer us a fully-fit Ledley King!
United go to White Hart Lane with several players not available. Amongst these are the long term absentees - Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher, the short term absentees - Michael Owen, Anders Lindegaard, and somebody who picked up a nasty gash, playing for his country in midweek - Chris Smalling.
But, on the positive side, United are able to welcome back Wayne Rooney after the striker missed the last two United games and the England international with a throat infection.
When a player returns to an old stomping ground the natural desire to do well increases. Carrick is probably an under-rated performer for United but his recent form has been outstanding and he`ll thrive going back to White Hart Lane.
In the reciprocating fixture, United took the three points on offer in a thriller, winning 3-0, the goals that day coming from Welbeck, Anderson and Rooney.
Recent visits to White Hart Lane have seen United not lose on the last 10 visits although it has to be pointed out that we`ve drawn 3 out of the last 4 there.
Martin Atkinson is the man in the middle.
Before Spurs lost heavily, to Arsenal, I was a little worried that White Hart Lane might be a place where we`d possibly come unstuck. But Arsenal showed that despite all the plaudits, Spurs can be got at and I reckon United, with the defence holding firm, can catch Spurs on the counter-attack and earn a narrow win, possibly 2-1!
Next up in the Premier League is a fixture against West Bromwich Albion next weekend.
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Date:Saturday March 3 2012
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|1. Man City||8||6||0||2||+12||18|
|3. Man Utd||8||5||1||2||+4||16|
|4. Crystal Palace||8||5||0||3||+4||15|
|5. Leicester City||8||4||3||1||+2||15|
|6. West Ham||8||4||2||2||+6||14|
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