Man Utd v Spurs preview
Man Utd meet Spurs looking to continue their outstanding recent record against the North London club.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 29/10/10 4:20pm
Manchester United welcome Tottenham to Old Trafford looking to continue their outstanding recent record against the North London club.
The Red Devils have won 14 and lost none of their last 18 Premier League meetings against Spurs, who last triumphed against United in the North West back in 1989.
Much has been written about United's apparent struggles so far this season, but it is worth noting that Sir Alex Ferguson's side remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League this term.
The Achilles heel for Ferguson's side has been allowing winning positions to slip away, with points dropped against Fulham, Everton and West Brom to leave the North West side five points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Those defensive failings were in evidence once again during the midweek Carling Cup clash with Wolves before substitute Javier Hernandez bagged a last-gasp winner, but it will be a very different United side which takes to the field on Saturday evening.
Tottenham are among the early contenders for a second consecutive top four finish as they currently sit two points behind the group containing United, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Harry Redknapp has to juggle his squad to cope with the twin demands of domestic and UEFA Champions League football and could have one eye on Tuesday's forthcoming showdown with Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, live on Sky Sports HD2.
Redknapp has previously admitted that he sees finishing fourth in the Premier League as a greater priority, as it will guarantee Spurs another season of rubbing shoulders with the elite in Europe's Premier club competition.
United striker Hernandez can expect to be named in Ferguson's starting XI following his impact after being introduced from the bench in midweek and his brace in the 2-1 win away to Stoke the previous Sunday.
As Wayne Rooney is out with an ankle injury which will take longer than the anticipated three weeks to recover from and Michael Owen is on the treatment table with a hamstring problem, Dimitar Berbatov remains the obvious choice to partner Hernandez, with Federico Macheda providing support from the bench.
Ryan Giggs will not be involved after his hamstring injury but the Welsh veteran is expected to return to training on Monday, with Ferguson likely to revert to the XI who started the match against Stoke following his wholesale changes against Wolves.
Spurs midfielder Wilson Palacios was handed his first league start for six weeks in the 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend and, despite being taken off at half-time, could keep his place as Tom Huddlestone is still out with an ankle injury.
Ledley King is still working his way back to full fitness after suffering a groin injury against Fulham recently, with William Gallas and Younes Kaboul the defensive pairing last time out.
Summer signing Rafael van der Vaart was on target once again against Everton and will look to impress further against United before being unleashed on Inter, having missed the 4-3 defeat in Italy due to suspension.
Possible starting XIs:
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Evra, Hernandez, Berbatov.
Spurs: Gomes, Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Crouch.