Tottenham and Manchester United both require a win from this match as Arsenal march on at the head of the Premier League table. A draw would do little for either team while defeat, especially to Spurs, would be a massive blow.
Tottenham are in need of a big performance today at White Hart Lane. Their recent displays at home have failed to inspire while last weekend’s defeat at City raised serious questions about the players and the manager. Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping that the players will respond positively to the defeat against a United side who are showing signs of coming together under their new manager, David Moyes.
Date: Sunday, 1st December
Kick-off Time: 12.00 noon (UK time)
TV Channel: BT Sport
Tottenham’s Home League record against Manchester United (inc. PL)
P 76 W 25 D 26 L 25 For 122 Ag 103
Home Record in Premier League:
P 21 W 3 D 6 L 12 For 23 Ag 36
Jan. 2013 Draw 1 – 1 Dempsey
Having won 3 – 2 at Old Trafford in September, Spurs were hoping to complete the ‘double’ over United for the first time in the Premier League era. It took a Clint Dempsey goal in additional time, however, to salvage a point in a 1 – 1 draw after van Persie had given United a first half lead.
Spurs’ Last Home League Win against United:
May, 2001 PL Won 3 – 1 Korsten (2), Ferdnand
It was the final game of the season, United were already Champions while Spurs under Glenn Hoddle managed to finish the season with a win. Spurs went ahead after seventeen minutes when Willem Korsten scored with a dipping shot from twenty yards after the ball fell to him from a corner. United were level after five minutes, Paul Scholes, but two second half goals from Korsten and Les Ferdinand brought Spurs’ season to a successful conclusion. United were under strength as were Spurs due to injuries – but after nine games in charge, Glenn Hoddle’s team finished the season in tenth position.
Last weekend, it was only a late goal at Cardiff which denied United all three points while in the Champions League, Wayne Rooney was the inspiration behind their 5 – 0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, their biggest away win in Europe for 50 years. Away from home, United opened the season with a comprehensive 4 – 1 win at Swansea. They then lost at Liverpool by a single goal and their difficult start to the season continued with a 4 – 1 reversal at City in late September. Since then they have won at Sunderland and Fulham plus last weekend’s 2 – 2 draw at Cardiff.
The United team is along similar lines to that which won last season’s Premier League title although Moyes has introduced new signing Marouane Fellani from Everton and young player Adnan Januzaj. They still rely heavily on the experience Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Rooney, Robin van Persie and Ryan Giggs who has now turned forty. Michael Carrick is another crucial player although he is currently injured.
Van Persie is their leading scorer in all competitions with 10 goals while Rooney has 8 and Hernandez has 4.
Many questions have been raised about Tottenham after last week’s defeat – team formation, use of players and style of play under AVB with pressure mounting in the media and from certain sections of the supporters. A repeat of last week’s performance will only increase the uncertainty at the club.
Villas-Boas has a certain style of play in mind but it has failed to produce the exciting , stylish football Tottenham fans expect from their team. The worse criticism of AVB is that his team reminds fans of the days of George Graham – not a good comparison for any Spurs manager.
Having signed so many players in the summer, all new to the Premier League, none of them has, to date, had a major or consistent impact of the team. There has been glimpses of their quality but it has been fleeting as all are taking time to adjust to the constant pressure of English football.
A good performance is essential for Spurs. If you cast your mind back to mid-September and the first half display against Chelsea. If Spurs had taken their chances, they would have won that game comfortably. They couldn’t reproduce the performance in the second half and it ended all square. Spurs need to get back to that sort of form where they played with confidence and created some goal scoring opportunities. In recent games they have dominated possession but rarely threatened.
Fans will back the players against United today. The players need to respond from the start with a game played at a good tempo to put pressure on the visitors’ defence using pace and width to their advantage.