Match Preview, Manchester United vs Tottenham.

Match date and time: Wednesday 1st January 2014. Kick off 5:30 pm. Live on BT Sport.

Venue: Old Trafford.

Competition: Premier League.

What a game to start 2014 we have in prospect, these matches have delivered some absolute classics in the past, mostly for Manchester United, but we have our fair share too especially in recent times. After 23 years of Old Trafford misery, last season we won in spectacular fashion, 3-2, it was definitely one of the most memorable moments of 2013. This season, we faced the Red Devils at the Lane drawing 2-2 in another great game, Sandro and Walker on the score sheet, but Manchester United have since hit a good spell of form and this game will be very difficult, plus, we have a different manager! Under Sherwood we are unbeaten in the League, and have scored 7 goals in three games which gives us a lot of confidence. In our last game we cruised past Stoke to win 3-0, now we have to translate that sort of form into the ‘big games’ and they don’t come much bigger than Manchester United away. It will be a great indication of what we can expect from Sherwood in these up coming games, to see how versatile he is and if he has the tactical nous to compete with these big clubs and challenge for the Champions League places. It’s going to be interesting how Sherwood sets up, if he continues with the 4-4-2 and sacrifices a midfielder for offensive purposes, or we see one striker in more of a 4-3-3 formation. I’d expect a persistence with the 4-4-2 formation, which could transform into a 4-3-3 with Adebayor or Soldado drifting out wide.

Manchester United sit in 6th place on 34 points, which will be a definite disappointment for them and their fans, the Champions last season expect much more from their team, but they will always need time to settle in a new manager, David Moyes is a good coach and I definitely think he will succeed at Old Trafford. United are level on points with ourselves in 7th, only goal difference putting them ahead of us, so a tight and even game could be expected! The team news for Manchester United is that Robin Van Persie, Fellaini (wrist), Nani (hamstring) and Phil Jones are out for the game, while Wayne Rooney and Rafael are doubts for the men in red. Obviously it’s a big plus for us that Van Persie and Rooney are out, but they have good players to replace them, Hernandez and Welbeck.

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The team news for us is that Super Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Paulinho (ankle), Andros Townsend (hamstring), Sandro (knee) and Younes Kaboul (quad) all out for the game against Manchester United, but absentees from the Stoke game Lewis Holtby, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are all available, with Jermain Defoe likely to return at least to the bench after injury. A massive boost that Kyle Walker is back, he’s been arguably our best player this season, and we need the threat he possess going forward and his defensive qualities too. A similar side that faced Stoke is what I would expect, Adebayor and Soldado to continue up front, with Eriksen possibly staying out wide left and cutting inside. The only changes that are now forced are the injury to Paulinho, so possibly the introduction of Capoue who was brilliant when he came on against Stoke, the return of Kyle Walker to replace Kyle Naughton, plus, on the left of the defence, I’d expect Danny Rose to return and replace young Zeki Fryers who did well at left back against Stoke but I would say he doesn’t have the experience needed to face Manchester United. We need Mousa Dembele to put in a big performance in midfield, along with who I suspect will be Etienne Capoue, because we have a real opportunity to dominate the midfield and if we do that at Old Trafford we have the chance if our attackers can put away opportunities, to win this game, so it’s crucial that Dembele and Capoue show steel and class in midfield and Adebayor and Soldado show composure and finishing touches. Aaron Lennon and Christian Eriksen’s performances will also I feel be directly proportionate to the result. Come on boys!

Massive game! Happy New Year to all my readers and followers, hopefully Spurs can put a smile on your faces and make a mark on Manchester United! You can follow me at @AddictedToSpurs, where I will provide match updates, videos and pictures for you all! Let’s repeat what we did at Old Trafford last season. COYS!!

Match stats and facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Wayne Rooney has scored nine Premier League goals against Tottenham, including seven in his last six starts versus them.

– Tottenham Hotspur have won just one of the last 25 Premier League matches against Manchester United (W1 D7 L17).

– Man Utd have had win/win results in their last seven home wins against top-half teams.

– Manchester United scored two goals from three shots on target in their reverse fixture against Spurs this season.

– Tottenham’s victory at Old Trafford last season was their first in 21 Premier League attempts (D3 L17).

– Man Utd have won their last four matches.

– Spurs have failed to score in 13 of their last 19 league trips to Old Trafford.

– Manchester United have won their last four Premier League games; they have not won 5+ in a row since a spell of seven in a row in March 2013.

– Spurs have conceded first in their last four away matches.

– Wayne Rooney needs one goal to become only the second player in Premier League history to score 10+ goals in 10 consecutive seasons (Lampard achieved this last season).

– Rooney has two assists more (9) than any other Premier League player this season.

– Man Utd have had Under 2.5 goals in their last four home matches against top-half teams.

– Tottenham have won more penalties than any other Premier League team this season (4 – all scored by Roberto Soldado).

– However, Manchester United have now gone 76 Premier League games without conceding a penalty (equivalent to two whole seasons).

My predicted team to face Manchester United at Old Trafford:
4-4-2
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Rose
Lennon – Capoue – Dembele – Eriksen
Adebayor – Soldado

Match Review, Tottenham vs Manchester United.

Match: Sunday 1st December 2013.

Premier League

Tottenham 2-2 Manchester United.

Tottenham goals: Kyle Walker 18′, Sandro 54′.

Manchester United goals: Wayne Rooney 32′, 57′ (pen).

We’re back in the goals! A great performance and just what we needed. It’s a shame we couldn’t get more from the game, because I thought we deserved the win, although a point and two goals against the Champions is a good result to have after the abysmal performances and results against Newcastle and Manchester City. We started the game brightly, with some good passing, creating good chances through the pace of Aaron Lennon and midfield power of Mousa Dembele and Paulinho. I was really pleased with the speed of our game and the way we were looking to attack and hurt Manchester United, we as fans want more of that from the team, very positive signs for the rest of the season. We got the breakthrough, a brilliant free kick from Kyle Walker underneath the wall with power made it 1-0, that’s his first goal of the season and what a great time to get it! Exactly 1 year after his last goal. We continued to play well, but United got back into the game more and more, then got level after a lucky deflection off Kyle Walker fell to Wayne Rooney who finished it well, disappointing! We came back really well in the second half, with more good passing and a few more chances before the beast, Sandro, let fly from 30 yards and the ball rippled the net, our goal of the season so far, stunning goal from a magnificent player. The lead was short-lived as Danny Welbeck was fouled in the box by Hugo Lloris to earn United a penalty and Rooney was never going to miss. We continued to push and push, and came close a few times, but couldn’t get the win that we arguably deserved.

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Great performances all over the park, most notably coming from Kyle Walker; he has had a very good season so far, showing his defensive solidity and his offensive guile as well, was his best performance of the season, with a goal and some fantastic crosses into the box, while keeping United as quiet as possible on his right hand side. Aaron Lennon and Walker’s partnership on the right was one massive positive from the game, they caused multiple problems and it seems Lennon is back to his best, giving us that natural width we have so badly lacked this season. Sandro has been getting better and better as the season goes on, and he was brilliant again, not just his unbelievable strike to put us 2-1 ahead, but his work rate and desire to win the game. Everyone dreams of a team of Sandro’s. The passion and will-to-win that the players showed on the pitch was exactly what I wanted, it makes me very encouraged about the future, as doubt had creeped into my mind about how much the players were up for the rigours of the Premier League and if they actually wanted to play for Spurs, my prayers were answered and they showed that hunger, long may that hunger and desire continue to run through the Spurs team, and AVB. Vlad Chiriches is settling in very well at Spurs; his composure and ability on the ball for a centre back in the Premier League is outstanding, I am very happy we have him in our team, as time goes on he will certainly get better and better. The pressure on AVB that the press speculated has been lifted after the result, but the big games are the ones against Fulham, Sunderland and Southampton that are coming up; 9 points are needed from those three to put us back in the hunt for Champions League places.

Good result, brilliant performance. But much more work to come in this busy December schedule, up next is Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 4th December, with kick off at 7:45pm. After Fulham sack our former manager Martin Jol, they’ll be keen to make a response, but we need to get a run of wins together. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Manchester United at White Hart Lane:
Lloris – 7
Walker – 9 – Man of the Match.
Dawson – 7
Chiriches – 8
Vertonghen – 8
Paulinho – 7
Sandro – 9
Lennon – 9
Dembele – 8
Chadli – 6
Soldado – 5

Subs:
Townsend – 6
Defoe – N/A
Sigurdsson – N/A

Match highlights of our 2-2 draw with Manchester United:

AVB’s post match reaction:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Manchester United.

Match: Sunday 1st December 2013. Kick off 12:00pm GMT.

Premier League

Arguably our biggest game of the season so far against the reigning Champions, after our 6-0 drubbing dished out by the other team in Manchester a response is essential. The pressure is on for AVB from the fans and the press, after some dreadful performances and not being able to score a single goal in the League in November AVB and the players need to show what they’re capable of and soon, in this game against United it is important we get a good result, but even more important is the performance and the show we put on to the fans; some excitement, passion and desire from the players and back into smooth and offensive play. If the result doesn’t go our way, you could probably understand as it is Manchester United, so I’d say results are more important against Fulham and Southampton, but good performances in all are crucial. I believe we have a chance, if we can find our finishing touch to win the game, so let’s hope luck is on our side and the ball ends up in the back of the net a few times.

Manchester United have had an indifferent start to the season, with some bad results and some very good results, but they are now starting to pick up pace and put themselves back in a position to challenge for the title. Manchester United sit in 6th place, with 21pts just 1pt ahead of ourselves in 9th, so the margins in the top half are extremely tight. United have two key players who are both doubts for the game on Sunday, Nemanja Vidic with concussion and Robin Van Persie with a groin problem. Ryan Giggs is expected to start ahead of either Tom Cleverley or Marouanne Fellaini as he is celebrating his 40th Birthday, what a player and one of the Premier League’s best ever. Wayne Rooney is Man United’s biggest asset at the moment, the striker has returned to form and is showing why he’s classed as one of the best strikers in the world, with 6 goals in 11 appearances this season.

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It’s a difficult call to chose the starting 11, with decisions on which formation to use; 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or the favourite this season for AVB, 4-2-3-1. I wouldn’t go with the 4-4-2 for this game, as it really is a system which doesn’t suit the modern game, and the only time you can play this in the Premier League is if you do have two brilliant strikers which compliment each other and have an understanding. Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor are the most likely players to play upfront in a 4-4-2 formation, and they, sadly, don’t compete with an Aguero and Negredo or a Sturridge and Suarez or United’s partnership of Rooney and Van Persie, one player drops off and plays that number 10 role anyway so I personally don’t think 4-4-2 is the answer. I’d stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation for now, but with a different front four, of which I have put in my preferred team line up for Sunday. Big performances are needed from the players, especially from our offensive players; Aaron Lennon was one of our better players against Manchester City, going past players and trying to create chances, so I’d like him to try the same things on the right hand side up against Evra. Andros Townsend should come back into the team for this one after missing out against City, and I’d like to see him on the left getting some crosses in. Paulinho hasn’t been good enough in recent games, and Mousa Dembele put in a great performance against Tromsø in the week with a goal, so I’d start Mousa and Sandro in the middle of the park. We need Soldado to do more, hopefully he can show his class and score a couple in a massive game, I believe in Bobby! The team news is that Danny Rose remains out with his ongoing foot injury, Harry Kane is out with a back injury, Emmanuel Adebayor sadly is out with a groin injury and Christian Eriksen also is out with his ankle injury. Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue and Zeki Fryers are now all fully fit and able to feature against United.

Match stats provided by FourFourTwo

– Spurs have kept seven clean sheets this season, more than any other team in the Barclays Premier League.

– Ryan Giggs has scored more Barclays Premier League goals against Tottenham than he has against any other opponent (10).

– Tottenham Hotspur have won just one of the last 24 Barclays Premier League matches against Manchester United (W1 D6 L17) and none of the last 12 at White Hart Lane (W0 D4 L8).

– Spurs have scored just six goals in the last 11 Premier League home games against Manchester United.

– Robin van Persie has scored six goals and assisted five more in his last eight Premier League starts against Spurs.

– United striker Robin van Persie has scored 14 goals in his last 16 Premier League starts.

– Manchester United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last nine Premier League away games and have kept just one shut out in their last eight overall in the competition.

– If Tottenham fail to score, they will equal their worst ever run of games without scoring in Premier League history (four games in Feb 2001 & Sep 2006).

– Excluding a penalty, Tottenham Hotspur have failed to score with any of their last 78 shots in the Premier League.

– Andre Villas-Boas’ men have averaged 24 shots (inc. blocked) for every goal scored this season, a higher average than any other team.

Massive game, let’s replicate our great recent form against United and get a win! The match is being shown live on BT Sport on Sunday 1st December, with coverage starting at 11:00am, and kick off at 12:00pm. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Manchester United at the Lane:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Chiriches – Kaboul – Vertonghen
Dembele – Sandro
Lennon – Lamela – Townsend
Soldado

AVB after the Tromsø game and pre Manchester United:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Manchester United

Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United

What a result. After going behind, we held on and didn’t concede again and this gave us a massive chance for us to nick a point. We dominated the match from start to finish which is something that you don’t say very often against Manchester United, but we never got the goal early enough to push on and try and win it. We were brilliant, we showed maturity and a calmness that I haven’t seen before from Tottenham in a big game like this. This maturity could be the thing that could push a title challenge in these coming years, this game may be the beginning of something big at the Lane.

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Clint Dempsey showed his quality in the box, his goal was brilliantly taken, all day he worked hard and at the end it payed off for him. Aaron Lennon was, no doubt our best player, he worked extremely hard, defensively he was brilliant and in attack he was even better, everything we did came through him, our player of the season so far in my opinion. Scott Parker was superb, he had a very tough job dealing with Van Persie, Cleverley and Kagawa, but deal with them he did, his tackling was spot on. We may not have won the match, but it really helps us in our race for the top four, or the race for third. Our next game is in the FA Cup against Leeds at Elland Road, the game is live on ESPN. Our next Premier League game is against Norwich City at Carrow Road. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against Manchester United:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Dawson – 7
Caulker – 8
Naughton – 7
Lennon – 10 Man of the Match
Parker – 9
Dembele – 8
Bale – 8
Dempsey – 9
Defoe – 7

Subs:
Assou-Ekotto – 8
Huddlestone – 7