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Man Utd v Spurs - OPTA Preview

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Manchester United

Old Trafford

Saturday 2nd December, 2000

Tottenham Hotspur
15 Games 15
39 Goals scored 22
2.60 Ave goals per game 1.47
46% Shooting Accuracy 43%
17% Goals to shots % 12%
7488 Passes 5944
78% Pass completion % 71%
77% Tackle success rate % 71%
10 Goals conceded 21
0.67 Ave goals conceded per game 1.40
162 Fouls 229
15 Yellow cards 23
0 Red cards 1

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

Once upon a time, Tottenham and Manchester United were both members of the 'Big Five' fraternity of English football, but then much has changed in modern England since the Thatcher era.

Spurs have long under-achieved at the top level and, with Arsenal falling by the wayside in recent weeks, the Red Devils are literally in a league of their own as they cruise eight points above the dawdling pack.

The famous Spurs lyrics from their 1987 FA Cup final song "Seven times we've won the cup and number eight is coming up" could easily translate into a contemporary United chant. Alex Ferguson's team have strolled to victory in their last seven league outings and will be gunning to keep that run going on Saturday.

Recent history does not imply that the north Londoners are about to stop that trend. Spurs have not registered a win at Old Trafford since the 1989-90 season, and they have lost their last six away games on the trot, gaining just a solitary point outside of White Hart Lane this term. However, George Graham's side have demonstrated a renewed vigour of late, and back-to-back home wins against Liverpool and Leicester will ensure they travel with a degree of confidence.

The presence of Sol Campbell will bolster a defence that has leaked an average of 1.40 goals per game - although he freely admits that he is not yet 100% fit: "I'm playing catch up and it is like another pre-season really, mixed up with the games. I've got to do a little here, a little there, rest and catch up." However, it should be noted that the big defender's return last week coincided with Spurs' first clean sheet in eight attempts.

But United will be ready to capitalise on any extra inch of space they are afforded, as their rampant stats suggest. The Champions are the most accurate passers in the division - 17 percentage points better than Spurs -and also the highest scorers with 39 goals.

The midfield trio of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and David Beckham have weighed in with 54 defence-splitting passes and 10 goal assists between them this term. And a 77% team tackle success rate - six percentage points better than the visitors - indicates that United are always hungry for the ball when they lose it.

This game could be the story of the ageing stars with two thirtysomething strikers on view. Teddy Sheringham has been in electrifying form for the Reds and is rated at 14/1 to notch a hat-trick against his former club. But Spurs can look to Les Ferdinand to cause an upset after his hat-trick last weekend, and he is quoted at 60/1 to score the only goal of the game.

Of course, Tottenham will need the ball at their feet to complete that task, and substantial spells of possession can be considered a luxury against United these days.

Mark Willis

Matchday Referee: G Poll

Graham Poll is one of the most experienced referees in the top flight and he is also proving to be the most strict at present. He has presided over nine games this season and has booked 34 players - more than any other Premiership ref - and issued three red cards. But Poll should enjoy a relatively laid-back affair with these two teams, especially as United are the cleanest side in the league.

Referee's Name Fouls Penalties Yellow Cards Red Cards Ave Disc points
G Poll 353 1 34 3 52.89

click below for in-depth comparison
Sheringham v Ferdinand

Fit-again Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Teddy Sheringham and Fabien Barthez will all be back in action for Man United after a night off in midweek. Spurs duo Les Ferdinand and Darren Anderton have both been struck down by 'flu and are doubtful for Saturday's clash.
click odds to place bet
Sheringham to score a hat-trick 14/1
Yorke to score a hat-trick 16/1
Ferdinand to score a hat-trick 50/1
Ferdinand to score 11/4
Solskjaer to score as a sub 2/1
Beckham to score a free-kick 5/1
Man Utd (-1 goal) to win 4/5
Draw (Man Utd -1 goal) 11/4
Tottenham (+1 goal) to win 9/4
No match goals 10/1
1 match goal 9/2
2 match goals 11/4
3 match goals 7/2
4 match goals 4/1
5 match goals 15/2
6+ match goals 10/1
click odds to place bet
Man Utd:
Yorke 7/2
Sheringham 7/2
Solskjaer 5/1
Scholes 7/1
Beckham 10/1
Giggs 12/1
Fortune 14/1
Wallwork 16/1
Keane 16/1
Chadwick 16/1
Greening 16/1
Butt 20/1
Irwin 20/1
Wilson 20/1
Johnsen 33/1
Silvestre 50/1
P Neville 50/1
G Neville
No Goalscorer
Rebrov 15/2
Ferdinand 15/2
Armstrong 8/1
Doherty 10/1
Korsten 10/1
Sherwood 14/1
Anderton 16/1
Clemence 25/1
Thatcher 40/1
Carr 40/1
Campbell 40/1
Freund 50/1
Perry 66/1
Thelwell 66/1
King 66/1
No Goalscorer
bet now with SpursBET

click odds to place bet
1/3 Man Utd win 7/1 Tottenham win 10/3 Draw
Man Utd
7/1 1-0 141
13/2 2-0 33/1
9/1 2-1 25/1
15/2 3-0 -
9/1 3-1 -
33/1 3-2 -
14/1 4-0 -
14/1 4-1 -
40/1 4-2 -
28/1 5-0 -
28/1 5-1 -
50/1 6-0 -
50/1 6-1 -
10/1 0-0 1 0/1
8/1 1-1 8/1
22/1 2-2 22/1
66/1 3-3 66/1
Man Utd
Man Utd
Man Utd
Man Utd
Man Utd
Man Utd
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By Road:

Download directions to Old Trafford in Microsoft Word format:

- Manchester United.doc
By Rail:
The website offers travel information and an easy-to-use journey planner: Railtrack Website