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Aug 222011

By John Toner

After a day of social unrest disrupted Tottenham’s opening day game at home to Everton, they face the rather more difficult task of going away to champions Manchester United.

Only time will tell if the late start to Tottenham’s season will have a positive or negative effect. On one hand the extra few days of rest might be beneficial to the players’ fitness; but then on the other, playing catch up from the off is never ideal and could have an impact on morale if things don’t go quite to plan early on.

United started their season as scheduled and as expected by seeing off West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns. Strengthened by the acquisitions of Ashley Young and Phil Jones, they look to be starting much as they left off at the end of last season; although there are questions being asked about the ability of new goalkeeper David De Gea.

The champions do however have a number of injuries to key players which will be of some concern to Sir Alex Ferguson. Nemanja Vidic had to be withdrawn from the victory over West Brom with a calf injury and could be out for another three to four weeks. Also substituted due to injury in that match was Rio Ferdinand who suffered a hamstring problem, he should return by the end of August but Monday night’s game comes too quickly for him to feature. United are also without Rafael Pareira Da Silva (shoulder), Darren Fletcher (illness), Javier Hernandez (concussion) and Luis Antonio Valencia (ankle) with Michael Owen also a doubt.

Spurs have a similar amount of injuries with midfielder Sandro sidelined after a knee operation and Steven Pienaar unavailable for at least a month after having groin surgery following an injury in pre-season. Also doubtful for the game are William Gallas (calf), Jermaine Jenas (achilles), Ledley King (knee) Luka Modric (groin) and Wilson Palacios (knee).

Tottenham have a miserable record against United in recent years, their last victory over Ferguson’s side was way back in 2001 and the last time they won at Old Trafford was 22 years ago. As opening games to a Premier League season go, Spurs especially, could not have ended up with a harder one. Although they will be buoyed by putting five past Hearts in midweek at Tynecastle this is an altogether more challenging prospect.

After a good start United will want to push on and get their title defence well and truly underway. Considering Tottenham’s dismal record against them, especially at Old Trafford, they will very much fancy their chances of getting the three points.

However, Ferguson will be very wary of Spurs’ Attacking threat especially having been deprived of both first choice centre halves. Redknapp will need to capitalise on that weakened defence if his side are going to come away from greater Manchester with anything.

United and Spurs usually provide an entertaining show, recently with added controversy; that combined with both sides being somewhat weakened and the unpredictability of early season fixtures, we should be in for a cracking game.

Toner’s Prediction: Manchester United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Follow me on Twitter @johnedwardtoner

  7 Responses to “Spurs finally get their season underway with a trip to Old Trafford”

  1. United 1 – 3 Spurs, ratboy aint playing so kranky can run the midfield agen, my aims are high. “)

  2. When you play Utd you never look at the line up we have faced Gibson Obertan now ones gone and the others on his way out. I wont go in to details but fans have got to start questioning why they can lose there best players and still win. Firstly i don’t believe its the Shirt or the big crowd or Fergies Tactics and persona because when they overcome teams mostly in the second half he is just has shocked.. What could be the secret to Utd firstly last year things where not going well 9 away games without a win Rooney slow and overweight Berbatov on the bench and getting booed yet they still remained unbeaten even when they where 2-0 down at flying Blackpool they came back. Rooney was sent away to America to get fit at the Nike center in a fortnight of intense training.and the rest is history along with his over head kick in there 19th title season . So if teams work out why they win most games after going down the tunnel and even one second is dangerous me enough for them to score teams will beat them West Brom nearly got a draw and with Odemwinge fit and playing they could have won because they found the secret match there very high Tempo and intimidating tactics and shocking refereeing decisions and the score would be 2-0 to Spurs but in reality another Utd ?.

  3. Modrics not playing tonight Harry said his mind is not right this is making all our fans and chairman the laughing stock of the media and looking like Colonel Gaddaffi. We alll bought into Levey and Harry’s theory you don’t let your best players or let them go to your rivals now we are in the Berbatov stand off next it will be the kidnapping and parading him to Sky. We have a voice now with yours and other Tottenham blogs and we must be heard both us and Arsenal are being bullied by Oil Money . This june the fair play rules kicked in and by nest season clubs will be allowed 40 million pounds dept till 2014 then this will not be allowed so why are these Clubs ignoring the new rules Chelsea Liverpool Utd Man City and spending money on players and wages way above the new rules . This could only mean one thing Power they will take Ufa to court if they ban them from transfers or the Champs league and Governments and courts will back them because of Vat. This is where we come in and join with other fans to stop greedy Arabs country’s oil money by unalected Royals Russian Americans and Sky Murdoc ruining our great game when Modric goes my Sky card goes i cant fund greedy bastards mercenary Footballers and the nice Modric has damaged my believe beyond repair Oil money has brought greedy Medal chasing Footballers to a new level in my mind and Football is losing its appeal by the week and if Modric is a nice man then Football is in an even worse condition and is now greedy ball Stnd up and take the bullies on or anothe wasted 45 quid shirt will be discarded with Modric and Bale on the back because the vutures are circling for Spurs to sell Modric with Black Liquid Gold Oil .

  4. It is always a grounding experience playing at Manchester United. There are only 2 feelings to be had as a Spurs fan and that is: 1. Anger at some insane decision by a referee, linesman or both which loses us a game we probably deserved to win; generally only due to a poor United display. 2. A feeling like todays. Its like going for a piss in a dream; starts as nervous un-driected energy (Gareth Bale: allowing the opposition to know that our tactic is to shoot) when you are first dragging the picture of that glorious can into your mind. The kick off is the moment where our dreams are realised and anything is possible; this piss could turn into liquid gold for example (Spurs could actually make their chances pay, score some goals and win at Old Trafford). Then its about 60 minutes through or 3 minutes into the longest most glorious piss ever, when you wake up with that tingling like your not in control anymore. Before you know whats happened Rooney and Anderson score; and you then realise that your girlfriend was also in bed whilst pissing yourself. Final Score Manchester United 3 – Poor Sodden Piss ridden Spurs 0.

  5. Great 1st half then the week links broke.Dawson, BAE and Lennon were shocking!! VDV was poor too. You cannot carry players at this level let alone 4 at old trafford. defoe missed two good chances. we need strikers fast!!

  6. Defoe dies not look like he even thinks he can score and his team mates share that thought.

    Worst game VDV has played for us too. Looked well unfit and at least 3 times he took wild and desperate long shots conceding possession cheaply which his team mates must have loved.

    The team lacked cohesion – too many playing as individuals and not enough belief.

    Without signings it is going to be a long old season in the league at least and we will only shine against the Europa level teams like Hearts.

  7. I agree that vdv was bad, lennon and corluka were shit too. Dont forget though, that united have played two competitive games already and were at home.

    On the upside I thought livermore had a good game, bale showed promise and kaboul was good first half. Finally, I thought friedel was solid and reliable.

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