Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday`s Team News for Spurs Match

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United begin their run of away games with a trip to White Hart Lane to Play Martin Jol’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premiership match at 1600 GMT on Sunday.

The Lane clash will make an interesting outing especially for former Spurs midfielder Michael Carrick who completed a move to Manchester United in the summer, as he comes across his former team-mates.

Spurs fans will also get an opportunity to pit their highly rated midfielder Tom Huddlestone, 20, against the 25-year-old England international Carrick, who has discovered his touch at the Premiership leaders of late.

Another battle to watch out will be between Portuguese internationals, defender Ricardo Rocha – Spurs’ new signing from Benfica – and Red Devils winger Cristinao Ronaldo.

Manchester United have healthy competition for places upfront as French striker Louis Saha is back from the knee injury. England striker Wayne Rooney is hot and hungry while Ronaldo is burning the scoring charts as he is on 14 goals at present and in the second place in the scorers’ list.

“I am glad he (Louis) is back. He is a fantastic striker. If we improve our goal threat we improve our chances and I think Louis does that,” Fergie said.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer always seems to make most of his opportunities, and Red Devils boss Ferguson cannot ask for more, although he has worked them up saying they are soon going to score lots of goals.

They did exactly that in the midweek with a clinical 4-0 win over relegation-threatened Watford. However, United’s clean sheet in the win over the Hornets was only their first in eight matches.

Ferguson is now banking on England centre-back Rio Ferdinand and Serbia international Nemanja Vidic to be similarly tighter as a tricky spell of road trips to Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City to follow.

Meanwhile, Martin Jol has acknowledged that the sale of Carrick has been the reason for Spurs’ stuttering start to Premiership. It has had a similar effect on Spurs like when Chelsea missed John Terry.

“We’ve realised we miss Michael Carrick. His biggest quality was to move play from defence to attack and win the ball. Because of him, other players played better,” Jol said.

According to the Dutch manager, “Tom Huddlestone has that quality but he has just turned 20 and he still has to make the next stage in his development.”

Tottenham, meanwhile, have been hit hard by the news that their inspiring skipper Ledley King has been ruled out for another six to eight weeks with his bruised foot.

Spurs are also without a win since King's last Premiership match which was on the Boxing Day when they won against Aston Villa.

However, exciting England midfielder Aaron Lennon, who was ruled out of the midweek defeat to Arsenal through illness, is fit and Dimitar Berbatov could return as well following a groin injury.

England midfielder Jermaine Jenas is expected to be fit after receiving a knock on his ankle, while Teemu Tainio (throat infection) is still ruled out and Egyptian striker Mido is suspended.

Tottenham Hotspur (from): Robinson, Cerny, Alnwick, Chimbonda, Lee, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Gardner, Rocha, Lennon, Ghaly, Malbranque, Huddlestone, Zokora, Jenas, Keane, Berbatov, Defoe, Murphy.

Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Neville, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Silvestre, O’Shea, Evra, Heinze, Park, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Richardson, Ronaldo, Rooney, Saha, Larsson, Solskjaer.

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