Tottenham vs. Manchester United: Complete Preview, Team News, Projected Lineups

Max TowleAnalyst IJanuary 17, 2013

Tottenham vs. Manchester United: Complete Preview, Team News, Projected Lineups

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    Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United, White Hart Lane (20/13, 11.00 a.m. ET)

    Tottenham will look to complete an illustrious double over Manchester United when the two sides meet this Sunday.

    Andre Villas-Boas' side trumped the Red Devils 3-2 at Old Trafford in their first meeting in September last year thanks to a Jonny Evans own-goal, a Gareth Bale cracker and a Clint Dempsey tap-in.

    Since then Spurs have signalled their intentions to qualify for the Champions League next season with some quality performances and results in the past few months, and currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League table.

    Here's a complete preview for the clash, with projected lineups and the latest news on the injury front.

EPL Form Guide

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    Tottenham Hotspur: DWWWD

    Manchester United: DWWWW

    Both Tottenham and Manchester United enter the game in good form, and are unbeaten since early December.

    Spurs' most recent result came in an underwhelming 0-0 draw at Premier League strugglers QPR, but prior to that, claimed convincing wins over Aston Villa, Sunderland and Reading.

    Before their narrow 1-0 win over West Ham in the FA Cup, the Red Devils triumphed 2-1 against rivals Liverpool with Robin van Persie and captain Nemanja Vidic on the scoresheet.

    Having started the season shipping goals at an alarming rate, Sir Alex Ferguson's side have been much improved at the back in recent weeks, conceding three in their last five games.

Injuries and Suspensions

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    Tottenham Hotspur:

    Emmanuel Adebayor: International Duty (Unavailable)

    William Gallas: Calf Injury (Doubtful)

    Younes Kaboul: Knee Injury (Unavailable)

    Sandro: Knee Injury (Unavailable)

     

    Manchester United:

    Jonny Evans: Hamstring Injury (Doubtful)

    Ashley Young: Knee Injury (Doubtful)

    Darren Fletcher: Ulcerative Colitis Condition (Unavailable)

     

    (All info via FantasyFootballScout.co.uk).

Key Players

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    Tottenham Hotspur: Gareth Bale

    The absurdly talented Gareth Bale has come a long way since making the move from Southampton to Tottenham in 2007 as a much-hyped left-back.

    Bale has more than lived up to the hype, developing into the best winger in British football today.

    In his last nine appearances, the flying Welshman has scored six goals, including a barnstorming hat-trick at Villa Park.

    Although the onus will most likely fall on Rafael to keep up with him, Bale has developed into a player good enough to roam the park and influence the game at will.

     

    Manchester United: Robin van Persie

    Goalscoring extraordinaire Robin van Persie has been the player of the 2012/13 Premier League season so far, finding the back of the net 17 times in 22 appearances.

    Since making the controversial £24 million transfer from Arsenal in the summer, the Dutch hitman has ignited the Red Devils with his effervescent influence both on and off the field.

    He has stepped up on the big occcasion, finding the net in games against Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea this term.

    Spurs will be hoping their name isn't added to that list on Sunday.

Facts, Facts, Facts

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    Tottenham Hotspur:

    Tottenham last recorded the league double over Manchester United 23 years ago. Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker both played for the club then.

    Spurs have not beaten the Red Devils at White Hart Lane since the final day of the 2000/01 season.

    Andre Villas-Boas enters the game the reigning Premier League manager of the month, picking up the award for his team's performances in December.

    The former Chelsea boss has been more successful in England's top flight than he was with the Blues at the corresponding stage of last season.

     

    Manchester United:

    The Red Devils have claimed 24 points coming back from losing positions in games this term.

    Manchester United are unbeaten in their last nine games, scoring a total of 22 goals and conceding 10.

    As well as leading the Premier League in goals scored, Robin van Persie has racked up six assists, and currently sits joint-fourth in the category.

    Only Mikel Arteta and Yaya Toure average more passes per game than Michael Carrick (81.7) (via WhoScored.com).

Projected Lineups

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    Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen, Aaron Lennon, Mousa Dembele, Scott Parker, Gareth Bale, Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe.

    Manchester United: David De Gea, Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Robin van Persie.

    Andre Villas-Boas is likely to keep a similar team to the one that took the field at Loftus Road last weekend with the exception of Emmanuel Adebayor, who is on international duty, and the injured Sandro.

    Scott Parker could earn a berth alongside Mousa Dembele in central midfield, while Clint Dempsey will most likely start behind Jermain Defoe in attack.

    Though Manchester United welcomed back both the impressive Anderson and Nani in midweek, it would be optimistic to suggest that either will play at White Hart Lane.

    With the Red Devils sweating on the fitness of Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand is likely to start alongside Nemanja Vidic in central defence.

     

    Who do you think will triumph at White Hart Lane this Sunday? What will be the final score?