Man Utd v Tottenham – Match preview and team news

Title-chasing Manchester United welcome a Tottenham side to Old Trafford who are just beginning to find their feet it seems under Andre Villas-Boas on Saturday afternoon.

Sir Alex Ferguson and his team will know that with fellow title rivals Arsenal and Chelsea taking points off each other earlier in the day, the Red Devils could reach the summit of the Premier League with victory over Spurs despite not having the most convincing starts to the season.

Wayne Rooney made his return from the nasty gash that has kept him out since August in Man Utd’s victory over Newcastle in the League Cup and Ferguson will have to decide whether to pick his star striker from the start alongside Dutch goal-machine Robin Van Persie, who has five goals in only three Premier League starts for the club.

Elsewhere, Antonio Valencia is doubtful after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s victory over Liverpool. Captain Nemanja Vidic is ruled out for the next eight weeks following knee surgery and with fellow central-defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones also absent, Jonny Evans should continue to partner Rio Ferdinand at the heart of United’s defence.

Andre Villas-Boas is set to revert to the team that has brought him two consecutive league wins after rotating his squad for Tottenham’s successful trip to Carlisle in the league cup. Brad Friedel, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and the in-form Jermain Defoe all look set to return to the Spurs starting 11. France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris looks set to remain in search for his first Premier League start for the club.

Elsewhere, the Lillywhites could have Kyle Naughton back from injury after the full back missed the victory over QPR last Sunday and that will provide a welcome boost with first choice left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto a long-term injur absentee.

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