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Saturday, 24 January 2009

FA Cup: Manchester United 'v' Tottenham Preview

manchester united blog fa cup preview manchester united tottenhamA couple of years ago, an FA Cup tie with Manchester United would have been the highlight of the season for Spurs as they had usually cemented their place in mid-table and could afford to concentrate on the cup competitions. The Carling Cup being Spurs preferred cup right now as they won it last year and made the final this year again.

Harry Redknapp has been promising wholesale changes from the side that almost shamed the club by blowing a three-goal lead at Burnley in midweek. Guessing what the side will be for this match is almost impossible but it is possible that Spurs fans will spend the first half of the game simply trying to work out who half the players are and the other half of the game wondering how United scored so easily against them.

Spurs will likely play Gareth Bale, Ricardo Rocha, Giovani Dos Santos and Adel Taarabt. Roman Pavlyuchenko may only have come off the bench but even he would be a risk given Spurs lack
of strikers. Similarly with no other goalkeepers to call on, the hapless Ben Alnwick will get a chance to redeem himself after the horror show at Turf Moor.

United picked up three more injuries in their victory over Derby County in midweek but their squad has a huge amount more in terms of depths than Tottenham’s. Whereas Spurs will have to look to academy starlets to fill the void, United can cover the loss of Evans, Anderson and Rafael with players such as Tosic, Fletcher and young players who are almost guaranteed to slot
easily into the side given their Old Trafford upbringing.

The lack of expectation may help Spurs after the trauma of midweek but a similar scoreline after 90 minutes is still likely to be reached as Spurs gear up for Stoke on Tuesday rather than FA Cup glory.

My Prediction: Manchester United 3 - 0 Tottenham

Expected Line Ups:

Manchester United: Foster, Chester, Neville, Fletcher, O'Shea, Nani, Gibson, Tosic, Giggs, Welbeck, Tevez.

Tottenham: Alnwick, Bale, Gunter, Rocha, Dervite, Zokora, Huddlestone, Bentley, Dos Santos, Taarabt, Pavlyuchenko.

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