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Last Season's Corresponding Game - Man Utd 3 Spurs 1
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What happened in the Premiership in Match 10 2009-10

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Full League Record of Man Utd v Spurs

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          18   3   4  11   21 -32  13
Away          18   0   3  15    8 -37   3
=========================================
Total (Prem)  36   3   7  26   29 -69  16
=========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  51  20  19  12   89 -64  63
Away (Div 1)  51   9   9  33   55 -101 28
=========================================
Total(Div 1) 102  29  28  45  144 -165 91
=========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   4   2   1   1   10 - 3   5
Away (Div 2)   4   1   2   1    3 - 3   4
=========================================
Total(Div 2)   8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
=========================================
Total (Prem)  36   3   7  26   29 -69  16
Total (Div 1) 102 29  28  45  144 -165 91
Total (Div 2)  8   3   3   2   13 - 6   9
=========================================
Grand Total   146 35  38  73  186 -240 116
=========================================

Last Six Premiership results:-

Man Utd

Everton    3-3   Man Utd
Man Utd    3-2   Liverpool
Bolton     2-2   Man Utd
S'derland  0-0   Man Utd
Man Utd    2-2   West Brom
Stoke      1-2   Man Utd

Spurs

West Brom  1-1   Spurs
Spurs      3-1   Wolves
West Ham   1-0   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   A. Villa
Fulham     1-2   Spurs
Spurs      1-1   Everton

Pos        P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts
3 Man Utd  9  4  5  0 20-12  8  17
5 Spurs    9  4  3  2 11- 8  3  15
Could it be the theatre of OUR dreams this time?

Spurs' worst Premier League playing record is against Manchester United. We have yet to win a Premier League game at Old Trafford, and yet let's just cast our minds back to January 2005 when Pedro Mendes produced a touch of Nayim-type magic in the closing minutes, and Roy Carroll managed a blunder exceeding Seaman proportions to give an injury-decimated Spurs side a monumental win. Except of course the statistics do not show that as a fact, despite it happening before our very eyes!

The referee on that historic day was Mark Clattenburg, and guess who is officiating this Saturday? Yes, the same Mr. Clattenburg who still owes us really, despite refereeing a number of Spurs games since. We have though won the last two games refereed by Mr Clattenburg, when we beat Aston Villa just 4 weeks ago, and at home to Arsenal in April. Maybe you can make it three in a row Mark! After all, Edwin van der Sar made a rickett in United's last home game against West Brom, so why shouldn't he do it again? mr Clattenburg also officiated here when we lost 2-0 in last year's Carling Cup. That was another occasion when Spurs just didn't quite seem to bother.

Switching to strategy, when Spurs lost here in April, I criticised Harry Redknapp for not playing to the strengths of his own team rather than trying to match the style and tactics of our opponents. So often last season that just did not work for us, and might have cost us that Champions League place. In that game Younes Kaboul mysteriously did not play, as Harry said "He says he isn't a right back", and yet Kaboul was to play such a vital role in that position in the season's deciding games, hitting the cross from which Crouch scored at Eastlands in May. Kaboul is fit again now, playing well again, and ought to play at centre-back this Saturday. It remains a mystery as to who will partner him against a likely pairing of Dimitar Berbatov and new favourite Hernandez, who has scored 5 goals in his last 6 games for United, having only made his debut this season in the Community Shield game, when he also scored. Rooney will be on the sidelines with his ankle injury, and is an absence United can bear for the moment.

You can count the number of league wins here by Spurs on one hand in the last 40 years. No wonder United love playing us so much, even teams such as Middlesbrough used to be something of bogey for Sir Alex at Old Trafford. SAF spoke of his experience being so important in the process that led to Wayne Rooney reversing his decision to leave the club and to sign a new five year deal. Sir Alex has been in charge for some 25 years now, which is an incredible record in this day of such brief tenures for managers at all professional levels. When Spurs did manage their last league win here in December 1989, the pressure was on Ferguson, whose team had already drifted out of the reckoning for a tilt at the league title. United at this time had not won the league since 1967, and had to wait three more years until the advent of the Premier League and their almost total domination of the newly found league until now. Back then, Paul Gascoigne was the man who fed the ball to Lineker to score the solitary goal. United were near the start of an eleven match run of games without a win. That's unthinkable these days, isn't it? They finished 13th and Spurs finished 3rd that season. For good measure, Spurs also won at Old Trafford in the Littlewoods (League) Cup. That one was 3-0!

Back to the present, and whilst United are five points behind Chelsea, they present as formidable opposition as ever. Remember they are now the only unbeaten team in the Premier League after 9 games. Paul Scholes has played in each of those games and is the oldest player in the Premier League to have such a record. Scholes of course is one of the three remaining "Ferguson Babes" in the United squad, along with the in jured Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. Scholes has 452 league appearances to his name and between the three of them they have over 1450 league appearances. Hernandez is an exciting addition to the squad, and will prove difficult for bigger and perhaps less mobile opponents. United's missing list now includes Michael Owen, as well as Rooney and Valencia.

Spurs though have their own strengths and amazing talents. Sir Alex will no doubt have a strategy to negate the marauding runs of Gareth Bale, and that will probably not involve the veteran Neville. Rafael van der Vaart will prove another keen and alert obstacle to the United defence. Whether he plays behind Crouch or Pavlyuchenko remains to be seen. With Inter on the horizon next Tuesday, perhaps Pavlyuchenko will get the nod for this game. Bale has been allowed to re-charge his batteries, and we will need him at his best. Modric, Lennon, Jenas, Palacios, Sandro and Kranjcar are all available for midfield places, despite the enforced absence of Huddlestone.

Dare anyone predict a Spurs win? Of course not. I just hope that we do play to our strengths and make a good go of it in what should be another feast of entertainment for television viewers on Saturday tea-time. We dream of our next win here. Dreams do come true sometimes, you know!

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