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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United: Preview

Michael Dawson is probably a better option at quarterback than anything the San Francisco 49ers have at their disposal.
Michael Dawson is probably a better option at quarterback than anything the San Francisco 49ers have at their disposal.

Ahh, nothing like a week off. Thanks to Arsenal, Spurs didn't have a Carling Cup match to deal with this week and got a full seven days off from football. They used that valuable time to do things like dick around with the San Fransisco 49ers and they probably even snuck in a crossbar challenge or two.

After that nice rest, the boys have to travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Despite that nice rest, Harry has hinted that Gareth Bale might rest tomorrow so he's good and fit for the mid-week matchup against Inter Milan. Understandable, as we've been riding Bale like a rented mule thus far.

Unfortunately, Tom Huddlestone will also miss out on the starting lineup, meaning that two of Sandro, Wilson Palacios, and Jermaine Jenas will have to start the match, since resting Bale would probably mean moving Luka Modric to the left side of midfield. Hooray for selection clusterf*cks.

Man United will be without Wayne Rooney due to an ankle injury, which could be a blessing or a curse. He's been crap in all shirts and all competitions since about April, but he's still Wayne Rooney. Unfortunately for Spurs, the attacking trio of Nani, Dimitar Berbatov, and Javier Hernandez appears to be in spectacular form. Our injury-plagued back line is going to have their hands full.

And then there's that whole tactics thing that 'Arry doesn't believe matters. United is almost certainly going to play with three guys in the center of midfield, and with Huddlestone out and Modric pushed out wide, they're almost certainly going to be more skilled than whatever two we put in the middle while outnumbering them. Unless Harry has some kind of magic trick up his sleeve or Rafael van der Vaart is suddenly asked to play defense, this could pose a serious problem.

So, what's going to happen? Most likely, we're going to play well enough to keep the score respectable while generally getting dominated in possession. Half of us will be going "Did you expect us to beat Man United anyway?" while the other half will probably be cursing Harry Redknapp's tactical decisions. Oh, a day in the life of a Spurs supporter.

Projected Lineup, Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-1-1): Gomes / Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Kaboul, Hutton / Modric, Sandro, Palacios, Lennon / van der Vaart / Pavlyuchenko

Projected Lineup, Manchester United (4-3-3): Van Der Sar / O'Shea, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra / Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes / Nani, Chicharito, Berbatov

Prediction: I smell a van der Vaart screamer and a breakout performance for that damn little pea. Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Manchester United.