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Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur: Preview

Fresh from the Premier League triumph against Portsmouth, the Carling Cup is next for Manchester United. Last season’s beaten finalists, Tottenham Hotspur are the designated opposition and are likely to provide a stern test for the boys in red.

Expect a much-changed side from the weekend’s Premier League fixture at Fratton Park. Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to field the young guns as he usually does in this particular competition.

One player who should retain his place is Tomasz Kuszczak who performed admirably at the weekend. Though Ben Foster is looking for another chance to show he has an Old Trafford future and he may have to study penalties on his iPod as he did in last years final. Edwin Van der Sar has a knee problem so he is definitely ruled out.

The defence should remain fairly stable as, John O’Shea, Jonny Evans, Fabio and Rio Ferdinand are all out injured. Gary Neville should be replaced by Rafael, leaving Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic to continue in the centre of defence. Patrice as usual will take up his left-back berth.

It should be all change in the midfield, though similar to the Besiktas quartet. Darron Gibson and Anderson look definite starters, while Ji-Sung Park will be looking to increase his fitness following a long spell on the sidelines. This leaves a place for Gabriel Obertan, Nani, who is feeling the wrath of Sir Alex after some unsavory comments regarding his position at United, and Zoran Tosic, who recently bagged a brace for the reserves, thus putting himself in Carling Cup contention.

The strikeforce will be three of Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda and Michael Owen.

Sir Alex Ferguson has also reacted to criticism of his young players by journalists:

“Those lads need to be challenged and I thought they did okay, they did not deserve that kind of criticism. Those same people will be going cap in hand to them, begging them for interviews in a few years’ time, mark my words. It is so hypocritical. What is the difference between that and Alan Hansen doing it in front of millions? Yet one gets slaughtered for it and this guy gets off. Wonderful. What a world. I don’t need to motivate them with what has been said. Their future is well mapped out,” he asserted.

Tottenham visit Old Trafford knowing it has been almost two decades since they returned to London with a win at Old Trafford in any competition and face a United side that has not lost in this competition since being humbled by Coventry in 2007. In addition, United are yet to concede in the Carling Cup this season.

Spurs will no doubt field a strong line up, though, Woodgate, King, Cudicini and Luca Modric are all missing.  Aaron Lennon will look to give Evra a tough time on the right and Defoe will be brimming with confidence after his recent five-goal haul against Wigan in the League. It must also be noted Peter Crouch is the competitions joint top scorer with four goals, three of which came against Preston.

Giovanni Dos Santos, the wonderkid and next big thing in world football has arrived back from Ipswich where he was on loan and has recovered from injury so he may play some part in Spurs’ game plan, as Harry Redknapp is of the opinion, Champions League qualification is more important for the North London side,

“You can win a cup and have a bit of luck on the way, but to get to a Champions League position would be done through a whole season. It would be great for us.”

It will prove to be a fascinating fixture and a good opportunity to see some of the younger talents lurking in the Old Trafford set-up.

Prediction: 2-1 United

Probable Line Up: Kuszczak, Rafael, Brown, Vidic, Evra, Obertan, Gibson, Anderson, Park, Owen, Welbeck

Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and is offering a free £25 bet when you register. Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted). So, give this a run if you’re up for it.



  1. rysho

    3 December 2009 at 22:56

    i have read some news that our national goalkeeper Jan Mucha from Legia Warsaw is going to CSKA Moscow… Maybe Akinfeev is going too somewhere?

  2. Footy4Eddy

    3 December 2009 at 23:53

    @CraigMc: Lil` Poo will always be Lil` Poo…

  3. Grognard

    4 December 2009 at 00:40

    @Red Ranter: It’s not too late. Those that never walked originally were not sure that the glazer’s were evil and bad for the club. They stuck around because they loved the club and because the idea of leaving to form a small club to spite their nose was and is a bit daft. I was one of those that had I lived in Manchester back then, would have stayed with the Glazer’s even though I had a very bad feeling about them.

    I was willing to let them prove me wrong. For the first few years they didn’t do much to piss me off but over the last three years the club has become more and more a corporate monster and less and less of a big spender and more and more of debt creator. Since their takeover, I have not seen that debt get smaller. Isn’t the idea to pay it off so much every year that it becomes less? Yet in that time, United have secured mega million dollar deals with many companies in the Middle East and Asia as well as the new shirt deal and others which brings in millions for the club and allows it the standing of still being the second wealthiest club in the world. A misleading statement to be sure considering both they and the number team Real Madrid are saddled with a massive debt to pay off. At least Madrid borrowed the money to improve the on filed product. As much as I hate them, I applaud them for that. Where is all that money United are making going if not to service the debt or to improve the product on the field? I’ll tell you where, in the Glazer’s back pocket and securely into a Swiss bank account where nobody and no other banks can get to it.

    To understand the Glazer’s better one needs to have studied some of their dirty and shady dealings within the US. They have operated a cheap assed budget and allowed their NFL franchise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be the poorest club in the NFL with the lowest salary base in the game. Tampa have played with no star players at any skill position since the club was bought by the Glazer family. They had some early success because the club had a great defense but soon after, top players were being traded or let go because they wanted to trim the salaries of the club. Tampa was also known as a very corporate team that has been aloof and cold towards it’s fan base. What used to be a popular team to buy merchandise from has now become one of the dullest and most unattractive teams in North American sports and a team nobody cares about and nobody in Florida for that matter too. I know people who live in Tampa and they tell me more and more fans are making the drive to go watch Miami on the other side of the state.

    The Glazer’s got burned by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and by the Wall Street collapse last year and since then they have struggled greatly having lost a majority of their non hidden wealth. They have had to start selling real estate and other holdings and it has been rumored that the NFL team is also quietly up for sale.
    Why don’t they sell Manchester United then if they are so desperate? Because frankly, it’s a money maker for them personally and because it’s capable of servicing itself without any injection of capital from them. They know like I know that when they decide to sell, someone with deep pockets will come by and buy the club as well as take over the debt because the club has that kind of market value. Therefore the profits the club is making up right now are being sucked up by the Glazer’s and are instantly leaving England for Swiss banks.

    The problem is that the glazer’s have no long term ability to prognosticate. They never have. They don’t realize that in football if you do not put money into the team and only take money out, the product will not only cease to win and be successful on the field, but it will eventually start to show less and less of a profit because supporters, advertisers, licensees and others will stop coming and watching and participating in Manchester United. Nobody likes a loser but nobody likes a loser that doesn’t try to be a winner. This family is playing with this club’s livelihood, it’s heritage, it’s traditions and it’s status as one of the elite clubs in the world. The only reason we are still a competitive team is because we already had a strong team on the field and because Fergie has figured out an unattractive, boring but successful way to continue winning even if we lose great players to other teams and we do not spend to buy newer and better players.

    Am I wrong with my assumptions? God I hope so. Rarely have I ever wanted to personally throw egg in my face, but seriously folks, I d o not think I am. As much as I complain about the way the club is playing I have nothing but praise and respect for the way Fergie has kept the ship afloat despite not having a dime to spend on making the team MUCH better. He is the glue that keeps the club from braking up into pieces because the owner’s agenda has finally been uncovered in my opinion. I see what they are up to if many of you don’t. I worked too many years in big business and with people like the Glazer’s not to know how they think. They are piraña’s of the highest order and they need to be forcibly removed from Manchester and Manchester United, otherwise they will bring the club down to a desperate situation that may not be like Leeds or Newcastle, but certainly will look like Liverpool’s. Until that rich investor steps in to bail the team out. Who knows how long that could take. Remember, Fergie won’t be here forever to keep the ship afloat as far as on field performance is concerned. I don’t guys, I just have a very bad feeling about where this club is headed. Nothing can change my mind unless I see Fergie dish out 50 million for players this January. And that’s not going to happen. Hell he is needing to stab a teenager in the back to save money for a purchase. How desperate is that?

  4. Red Ranter

    4 December 2009 at 01:02

    @Grognard: Those that never walked originally were not sure that the glazer’s were evil and bad for the club. They stuck around because they loved the club and because the idea of leaving to form a small club to spite their nose was and is a bit daft.

    They didn’t stick around because they wanted to give the Glazers the benefit of the doubt – well, partly it’s true. But the prime reason they stuck around is because they love the club, and the majority would still if United went under tomorrow.

    And the common perception was hostile when the Glazers took over. There was plenty of dirt dug up when they took over, and I’ve read plenty of dirt about them during their tenure. So to me, the Glazers factor isn’t new and will not be a big factor till the day Ferguson retires. Only then will we see the true extent of their dealings.

    I despise them, but I think our performance on the pitch has more to do with stubbornness in the transfer market and questionable tactics than the Glazers.

  5. CraigMc

    4 December 2009 at 01:19

    @Red Ranter: Couldn’t agree more. SAF feels responsible for driving transfer fees into chaos last summer with the Ronaldo obscene transfer fee – and now he seems determined to fight all the greedy bastard football boards and moneymen around the world to bring reason to the market again. Ronaldo was worth 80 million, but now other clubs have massively hiked their transfer fees for players WHO ARE NO RONALDOS. SAF won’t have that! I think he has money, but he is determined not to be screwed by outrageous agents and clubs who want to stuff their pockets by quoting prices that are to SAF utterly ridiculous.

  6. CraigMc

    4 December 2009 at 01:21

    @Footy4Eddy: 😆 😆 😆 You got that right Eddie mi man!

  7. Grognard

    4 December 2009 at 02:39

    @Red Ranter: I see what your saying and I agree with most of it but the fault of our poor transfer policies have to be traced to the Glazer’s lack of pouring money into that endeavor.

  8. Grognard

    4 December 2009 at 02:44

    @CraigMc: I hope that you are right and it’s all Fergie’s doing when it comes to the lack of money being spent. But I just don’t think so and today’s Ljacic back stab is a good warning to all of us to keep our eyes and ears open.

  9. Redrich

    4 December 2009 at 05:04

    @Grognard: If SAF is responsible for holding back the money to spite the agents and the overpriced players, he surely doesn’t think that he, alone, can make the difference and drive prices back down, does he?
    His solo stand will do nothing in that respect, and will just leave us out in the cold as far as new talent is concerned.
    To me it’s down to two things:-

    1/. Glazers are broke and are freezing most of our spending.
    2/. SAF thinks that he has a strong enough squad now, and doesn’t need to add anyone else.

    If the latter is true, we will put in a good showing on the 2nd half of the season, perhaps win a trophy or two, and see the development of 2/3 of our squad players into regular starters.
    If not, either SAF has lost his touch for talent spotting, or the former is true and we’ll just have to make the best with what we’ve got.

    I think that we’ll get a goalie in January, but that’s it!!

  10. Grognard

    4 December 2009 at 05:29

    God analysis of the situation. I myself feel it’s the Glazer’s fault and Fergie is covering for them. We’ll see. What I do know is that we will not be getting David Villa because he is more expensive now than he was before the season ended. So much for Fergie’s prediction that prices would drop. As for a goalkeeper, we might get one in January but I think he will wait until summer because he has no way of playing the newcomer until EVDS actually decides to retire. I do see the possibility of a Krasic or an Akinfeev coming but I still think Fergie will need to sell before he can buy.

  11. Redrich

    4 December 2009 at 06:24

    @Grognard: My gut feeling, since the Summer, is that the Ronaldo money has been pinched for debt service. However nothing yet has surfaced to add fuel to this.
    The Ljacic episode doesn’t really push me one way or the other – after all he’s just a kid. It’s possible that he really isn’t measuring up or he has a few skeletons in his young closet – who knows!!
    The idea that SAF is audacious enough to snub every doubter and do it his way, is also not that far fetched, and would certainly be in character for him to try and pull such a coup.
    I just don’t think we have a good number of fledglings though – maybe two or three max, and with the failings of so many of our budding signings (Nani, Anderson, De Silva twins, Tosic), I honestly think that the whole idea of building from youth, is bankrupt!

    I’m willing to wait – second guessing SAF is a very perilous task, but it does seem to me that he is being handcuffed in the transfer market, and forced into doing the only option open to him!!

  12. donibrasco

    4 December 2009 at 07:14

    @Grognard: I always dont understand you when you put down most of our players and invoke Krasnic as our savior.A few months ago,you were blowing for Marko Marin and alexis sanchez.What happened to them?

  13. Footy4Eddy

    4 December 2009 at 10:06

    How you guys can call Anderson a failiure is beyond me! 🙄

  14. Red Ranter

    4 December 2009 at 10:12



  15. Footy4Eddy

    4 December 2009 at 10:25

    @Red Ranter: 😆 😆 😆

  16. Merlinus

    4 December 2009 at 10:54

    Blapshemy. Donot second guess the GODs..

    Sir Alex Ferguson & Anderson..

    They are above human judgement.. Their word is the law..

    Mr. F*****son has supreme power & influence.. He’ll definitely make the team come good, one way or the other..

    Anderson is an atomic bomb waiting to explode.. And explode he will..

  17. Onkar

    4 December 2009 at 11:26

    @Merlinus: Eddy is going to fall in LOVE with YOU pretty soon… 😆 :mrgreen:

  18. NicoQB

    4 December 2009 at 15:59

    @Merlinus: Explode?

    He usually does, and several times during a match, I might add.

    Its just before he prepares his shot.

  19. Grognard

    4 December 2009 at 19:34

    @donibrasco: Sanchez has gone down with a serious injury and he is damaged goods. As for Marin, I love him but his style of play and lack of size is not ideal for the Prem. I have never said we should go after him because of that. I just sing out his praises because he is a gifted footballer. There are many players I like but would not sign for United due to lack of compatibility.

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