Manchester United have not lost a match at White Hart Lane since 2001 and that was when the the Red Devils had already confirmed themselves as champions. United may have an impressive record at Spurs, but Sir Alex Ferguson is expecting a very tough challenge for his team when they travel to London on Sunday.
Tottenham has flourished so far under new manager Andre Villas-Boas who had a tumultuous time managing Chelsea last season. Villas-Boas would eventually get the sack at Chelsea shortly after the half way point but the Portuguese manager has found new life with the north London club. Spurs are currently in fourth place in the Premier League and sit just two points behind Chelsea.
One of the highest points for Tottenham and Villas-Boas this season was when the team managed to run out of Old Trafford 3-2 winners, the first win for Spurs in the Premier League era.. It remains the only loss United suffered at home this season and Tottenham outplayed the Red Devils on the day. So Ferguson has a lot to consider ahead of the crucial match and, although he has been an admirer of Villas-Boas and Spurs this season, will want to get a positive result at White Hart Lane.
"I think Spurs have done well this season," Ferguson said at his Friday press conference. "I've watched quite a few of their games and their form has been consistent. They're in good form and I think they'll challenge for the top four. Villas-Boas has Spurs in the way he wants them and I think there are signs they're playing how he wants them to play. That's what a coach wants to do- get his philosophy across. I think they'll challenge for the top four."
Ferguson has always admired Tottenham's ground as well, pointing out that White Hart lane is an old fashioned stadium that always has a great atmosphere. United travel to Tottenham without Jonny Evans who is still struggling with a hamstring injury but Ferguson has a full squad to choose from with injured players getting valuable playing time in Wednesday's FA Cup replay. Villas-Boas faces a selection dilemma of his own with Sandro, an important part of Spurs' midfield, out through injury.
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