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Rich 19th Jan 2013 - 19:23

Spurs look to avoid White Hart Pain - Betting Preview

As Tottenham and Manchester United line-up at White Hart Lane on Sunday, Andre Villas-Boas will lead the home side out knowing that he can succeed where no other Tottenham manager in Premier League history has, as Spurs can perform the league double over the Red Devils.

Of course, there is further context to the game that a possible Spurs double, but after their first league victory at Old Trafford since 1987 sparked their season in late September, Tottenham have looked a different team, gelling well, and attacking freely, and after a strong festive period, Spurs remain unbeaten in six.  Yet, under the Portuguese manager, it has been Tottenham's defence, much maligned as the season began that as rapidly improved, having conceded only five in their past ten league matches.

Whilst their backline has been tightened up in recent months, facing a familiar foe in Robin van Persie will be a reason for worry in north London. In his ten matches against the Lilywhites, RvP has notched five goals, and as many assists, and can never be ignored, especially considering the magnificent run he is on currently. At 7/2 to score first or last, 10/11 to notch anytime, and 20/1 to net a hat-trick, it looks as though van Persie will remain at the centre of Untied attack, and having scored nine in nine, why not?

Whilst Tottenham will rue to loss of Sandro to a season-ending knee injury, the return of former stalwart Scott Parker will be a relief, and will be able to provide excellent cover in the holding role. To score on his first start, Parker is priced at 8/1, but it is his Welsh teammate Gareth Bale who is likely to provide a bigger goal threat.

Without Emmanuel Adebayor, whose departure to the Africa Cup of Nations has proven untimely for Spurs, AVB will be forced to find goals in other parts of his team. Jermain Defoe provides a constant threat (15/8 anytime, 13/2 first), and could enjoy his day against an aging pair of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the back, both due to start, but whilst the diminutive England international can chip in, he is often hit and miss. Gareth Bale is well known for cutting in from the left wing, and with blistering pace and almost world-class ability, Bale will be out to upstage Antonio Valencia, who is expected to start on the right.

The Ecuadorian midfielder is himself a threat in front of goal (11/2 anytime), he has helped van Persie look untouchable throughout his first season at Old Trafford. For Sir Alex Ferguson, the risk he took in signing van Persie looks to be paying off, however the form of Wayne Rooney, which has waned in recent times, is a cause of concern.

Yet, Rooney's excellent midweek performances in the FA Cup saw him receive rave reviews, and in the wake of a personal bereavement, the experienced United attacker will be out to prove he can still perform at a world class level.

The Red Devils have found the back of the net in eight consecutive league clashes with Spurs, and with Spurs in sparkling form going forward, this match should provide plenty of action on the scoreboard.

Coverage of the match begins immediately after Chelsea v Arsenal on Sky Sports 1, and is due to kick-off at 16:00, and we continue to offer over 100 pre-match and in-play markets, so stay with William Hill - the Home of Betting.

OPTA Facts & Stats

  • Robin van Persie has scored five goals and has five assists in his last 10 Premier League games against Tottenham.
  • Victory at Old Trafford earlier this season ended a run of 22 Premier League games without a win for Spurs against Manchester United (W0 D5 L17).
  • Manchester United have won eight and lost none of their last 11 Premier League matches at White Hart Lane.
  • Ryan Giggs has scored more Premier League goals against Tottenham than versus any other opponent (10).
  • Spurs have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League matches (W7 D2 L1).
  • Robin van Persie has scored nine goals in his last nine Premier League games.
  • The Red Devils have the best chance conversion (21% and shooting accuracy (49%) of any team in this season's top flight.
  • Manchester United have scored 13 goals from corners in the Premier League this season, more than twice as many as the next highest team.
  • Tottenham have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League matches, but have lost their last four games against other teams in the top six of the table.
  • Spurs have scored the highest proportion of second half goals in the top division this season (72%, 17/28).

Headline Offers:  Gareth Bale to score and Tottenham to win - 6/1; Robin van Persie to score and Man Utd to win - 3/1

Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals - 13/8

Worth a Punt: Man Utd to come from behind to Win - 8/1; Time of First Card - 7/2



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