Modric

Modric will play no part against Manchester United. Picture - Reuters.

Tottenham Hotspur will travel to Old Trafford to take on champions Manchester United for their first Premier League game of the season on Monday.

Due to the London riots, Spurs' premiership opener against Everton was postponed, making the Europa League encounter with Hearts their first competitive fixture of the new season.

For Spurs' in particular, the opening fixture doesn't get much tougher than a visit to Old Trafford. They haven't beaten United in their last 24 attempts, in all competitions, and their last win against them came more than a decade back when they won 3-1. In the corresponding fixture last season, United won 2-0 while a 0-0 draw ensued at White Hart Lane in January.

Spurs' haven't exactly strengthened over the summer either. 40-year-old Brad Friedel is the only notable 'new-boy' and he is set to make his debut in goal against United. Luka Modric will not play any part through injury, although Harry Redknapp admitted that he could have played through the injury had he not been distracted by a Chelsea's interest. His omission will only serve to increase speculation of his move to Chelsea.

He's got a little bit of an injury, Redknapp told TalkSport. There's a possibility he could have played through it. But at the moment his head's not in the right place.

However, Spurs do have a reason to be optimistic. United will be without their central defensive pairing of Rio Ferdinand and captain Nemanja Vidic, both of whom are sidelined with injuries sustained during last week's season-opener against West Brom. It means their nervous goalkeeper David De Gea will have an inexperienced defence in front of him, with Jones partnering Johnny Evans at the heart of the defence while Chris Smalling guards the right flank.

Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vart will be hoping to unsettle the inexperienced defence, while expect many shots from distance aimed at unnerving De Gea.

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to field a young side as Tom Cleverley has fit in well in the Paul Scholes role, while Danny Welbeck has impressed when given a chance.

Spurs will hope to score early and unsettle United's infant defence. It promises to be a thrilling encounter, as this fixture has produced many memorable match-ups on many occasions over the years.

Team News

Manchester United will be without key defenders Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Rafael while Michael Owen and Javier Hernandez are also sidelined. Patrice Evra is doubtful with a knee injury.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has omitted Luka Modric from his squd, citing injury as the reason. Peter Crouch is doubtful, while Ledley King, William Gallas and Alan Hutton are all sidelined.

Match Fact

Tottenham haven't won against Man United in their last 24 meetings in all competitions. Their last win came a decade back, when they won 3-1 in May 2001 at White Hart Lane. However, their last win at Old Trafford came 22 years back when Gary Lineker's goal gave them a 1-0 win in December 1989.

Prediction

Spurs will attempt to capitalize on United's inexperienced defence, although history is against them. A nervy 1-0 win for Manchester United looks likely.