Manchester United vs. Tottenham Match Preview – Pick

Manchester United vs. Tottenham – England Premier League Match Preview, Old Trafford Manchester England, 1:30 AM EST Saturday September 29, 2012

By Jason Green of

Match Odds: Manchester United 1.57 / Tottenham 6.00 / Draw 4.00
Moneyline: Manchester United -175 / Tottenham +500 / Draw +300
Over/Under: 2.5 goals

Manchester United has gotten off to a solid start in the EPL this season, as they sit in 2nd place only 1 point behind Chelsea. While their offense has been solid ranking first in 12 goals on the season their defense has been a little sketchy allowing 7 goals. Still, Man U has won all their matches since being shocked losing to Everton in their first match of the Premier League season.

Tottenham got off to a sluggish start this season, but they have caught fire as of late and they have won their last 3 league matches. The reason they are winning is that their offense has been playing well scoring 8 goals in their last 3 matches.

United has had injury concerns, as defender Phil Jones is out for a couple of months, striker Wayne Rooney is still out with a leg injury, and MF Ashley Young and DF Rafael are doubtful for this game.

Man U made the biggest off-season move getting last season’s goal scoring champ Robin Van Persie from Arsenal and the ex-Gunners striker has not disappointed, as he leads the EPL in goals this season (5) 1 goal ahead of Jermain Defoe from Tottenham.

Last season Tottenham lost twice to Manchester United giving up 3 goals in each match.

Manchester United has the offense and G Brad Friedel and the Spurs’ defense will have their work cut out for them. Even with Rooney out Man U has a solid offense and they have scored 2 goals in each of their last 2 matches.

Van Persie is the leading scorer for Man U and with 2nd leading scorer Rafael (2 goals) also likely out the club will need Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa, who each have 1 goal on the season, to step up and pressure the Tottenham defense. Still, even though the Spurs will key on Van Persie I think he will score at least 1 goal.

Dafoe is the only Spurs player that has multiple goals this season with Gareth Bale yet to find his stride. He had a good season last season and he will have to help out Dafoe in this match.

The Spurs’ midfield will be counted on to spurn on the counter attack and they also have to keep Man U from making wide sweeps to the goal, which they love to do. Manchester United has had a lot of great individual goals, but they do not have one player with more than 1 assist. The need to pass the ball more in the midfield and get good runs on goal when they are on the attack, which they will do in this big early season match.

Anders Lindegaard got the start in goal in Manchester’s last league match with usual starter David De Gea getting the start in the Capital One match on Wednesday. De Gea has been less than stellar in goal this season, but I see him bouncing back and have a good match. He will not keep a clean sheet, but he will not give up more than 1 goal.

Tottenham Recent Form

9/1/2012 Tottenham 1 Norwich City 1 (Premier League)
1/16/2012 Reading 1 Tottenham 3 (Premier League)
9/20/2012 Tottenham 0-0 Lazio (Europa League)
9/23/2012 Tottenham 2 Queens Park Rangers 1 (Premier League)
9/26/2012 Carlisle United 0 Tottenham 3 (Capital One Cup)

Manchester United Recent Form

9/2/2012 Southampton 2 Manchester United 3 (Premier League)
9/15/2012 Manchester United 4 Wigan Athletic 0 (Premier League)
9/19/2012 Manchester United 1 Galatasaray 0 (Champions League)
9/23/2012 Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2 (Premier League)
9/26/2012 Manchester United 2 Newcastle United 1 (Capital One Cup)

Jason’s Pick to Win the Match: The Manchester United defense has had their issues this season and that will hurt them in this match. Still, they have too much offense even with Rooney out and I see them beating the Spurs by a score of 2-1 or 3-1.