United can cap memorable European performance with victory at White Hart Lane

 
Bill Esdaile
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FOR a team who spent more money than any other this summer Tottenham are making heavy weather of it.

Only Crystal Palace and Sunderland have scored fewer goals than their nine in 12 league outings, prompting speculation this week that Andre Villas-Boas will follow Ian Holloway and Paolo Di Canio through the exit door.

Their impressive number of clean sheets might have been a mitigating factor had they not shipped six in one go at Manchester City last time out.

And things look unlikely to get any better on Sunday when champions Manchester United roll into town.

United, Spurs fans will not need reminding, are their bogey team. In the last 24 league encounters they’ve managed to beat them only once – and not at all in the last 12 at White Hart Lane.

Strange, therefore, that bookies Coral can’t split them on price, even after United’s emphatic victory over Bayer Leverkusen in mid-week.

I suppose United have stuttered themselves this term domestically. As it stands, they are only three places and a point above Spurs, and seven adrift of pace setters Arsenal.

But I can’t help but feel that they’ll still have too much for their hosts, and I’d rather take the 13/8 on an away victory.

Spurs have scored just six goals in the last 11 Premier League home games against United and I see no reason why that will improve.

David Moyes’ side have won three games so far by a 1-0 scoreline – against Liverpool, Real Sociedad, and Arsenal. A repeat is available at 9/1.

Spread bettors should sell total goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index.

Fresh off the back of their last-gasp draw with United, Cardiff City welcome the league leaders across the border. The Bluebirds will have been grateful for the week’s rest after the energy-sapping performance last Sunday, something that Arsenal have not had the luxury of due to European commitments.

Malky Mackay’s men fully deserved their point from the United clash and they have given some of the top teams a run for their money this campaign in the Welsh capital. They have earned draws against Everton and United and famously beat Manchester City 3-2.

A single defeat in their last four matches suggests the Bluebirds will be confident of adding Arsenal to the list of those they have denied on home soil.

Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Southampton last weekend preserved their four-point lead at the summit of the Premier League with Artur Boruc’s inexplicable mistake proving decisive. It was their fifth straight home league win, yet results haven’t been as strong on their travels. The Gunners have won only once in three away league fixtures and that came at struggling Crystal Palace.

I feel this will be a genuine test of Arsenal’s title credentials, heading to a place where rivals have already slipped up.

Given the fight shown by Cardiff in their biggest games since reaching the top flight, I fancy their chances of frustrating the Gunners for a share of the spoils.

The draw can be backed at 16/5 and that looks great value.

Pointers…

Man Utd to beat Tottenham at 13/8 with Coral
Sell total goals at 2.6 with Sporting Index (Tottenham v Man Utd)
Draw at 16/5 (Cardiff v Arsenal)