Spurs can slow down United’s title charge

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
MANCHESTER UNITED

Sunday 4.00pm

THERE’S no doubting who the Premier League’s form team is at the moment. Having taken 28 points from the last 30 available, Manchester United sit seven clear at the top of the table and the bookies have all but given up on the chasing pack.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s outfit are as short as 1/4 to reclaim the title from Manchester City, with their neighbours 7/2, and no one else given a sniff.

But history tells us that a lot can happen between January and May.

There will be twists and turns along the way and I think the gap between United and City, who host Fulham, could be down to four points come Sunday evening.

The Red Devils are favourites, at 13/10 with Blue Square Bet, for their visit to White Hart Lane, although Tottenham have already shown this season that they have the tools to beat United. Their 3-2 victory at Old Trafford is the highlight of Andre Villas-Boas’s reign in north London so far and the Portuguese can plot United’s downfall again, at 2/1 with Blue Square Bet.

Spurs are unbeaten at home in all competitions since the start of November and Villas-Boas was named manager of the month for December following his team’s strong showing.

I’m not reading too much into the Lilywhites’ goalless draw at Loftus Road last time out. Spurs weren’t at their best and it was a very disciplined performance from Queens Park Rangers. At home against a United side that won’t sit deep, I expect Spurs to have their chances and it could be an open, entertaining game, like when the teams met in September.

Between them, the sides have kept only nine clean sheets this term, with United managing five. They had already recorded 11 at the same stage of last season.

It is a fixture that has both teams to score written all over it and odds of 1/2 suggest as much. With that in mind, I fancy a 2-1 Spurs victory, which is available at 10/1 with Blue Square Bet.

The hosts will have to cope without Sandro, one of their most important players, after the Brazilian went under the knife following his knee injury against QPR, but can welcome Scott Parker back into their midfield. They are also without Emmanuel Adebayor, yet Jermain Defoe has been top dog up front.

Ferguson has denied that United are a one-man team, but they look a paler force when without Robin van Persie, as they showed in two meek displays against West Ham in the FA Cup, Van Persie’s late arrival and goal in the first game aside. Spurs will keep Van Persie on a tight leash and Villas-Boas is blessed with impressive defensive options, while Hugo Lloris has bedded in nicely, showing just why he is the France No1.

In terms of a spread bet, Sporting Index’s quote of 3-3.2 total goals looks bang on, so I’d prefer to sell United’s supremacy at the 0.1 mark with the same firm.

Pointers…
Tottenham at 2/1 with Blue Square Bet
Tottenham to win 2-1 at 10/1 with Blue Square Bet
Sell Manchester United’s supremacy at 0.1 with Sporting Index