Andre Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas could make a major statement as Tottenham boss with a positive result at Old Trafford. Reuters

When and where: The Premier League clash gets underway at 12.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with a delayed online stream available via FoxSoccer2Go. Viewers in the UK can watch a live stream via the Sky Player.

Preview: Having claimed his first victories as Tottenham boss in the club’s last two league matches, new boss Andre Villas-Boas can truly endear himself to the club’s faithful if he can guide the team to their first victory at Old Trafford since 1989.

It is an incredibly poor recent run that has seen United come out on top in 17 of the last 22 fixtures. There is reason for Tottenham fans to be optimistic, though, as they make their annual sojourn to Old Trafford.

Villas-Boas endured a difficult start at White Hart Lane as much of the English media appeared down on him for his travails at Chelsea last season and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s obsessive negotiating in the transfer market prevented the Portuguese boss from having the side he wanted in the early weeks of the season.

Bus as Villas-Boas begins to mold a settled side, there is reason to believe he can be a success at White Hart Lane.

Spurs will still be without long-term injury victim Scott Parker, though Emmanuel Adebayor may be in contention. However, striker Jermain Defoe is likely to be among the players restored after a changed lineup defeated Carlisle 2-0 in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Manchester United’s key selection decision will be over whether to include Wayne Rooney from the start. The England forward made his return from injury in midweek and will be eager to continue his return and kick-start his season on Saturday. Rooney has not yet started a game with big summer signing Robin van Persie and Sir Alex Ferguson must decide how to find the best blend of his considerable attacking options, which also feature the likes of Shinji Kagawa and wide men Antonio Valencia and Nani.

The plentitude of talent going forward contrasts sharply by what’s available in defense. Having just made his return after missing much of last season, Nemanja Vidic will be out for eight weeks with a knee injury. With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling still missing, it means that Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans are the only fit senior center-backs.

Manchester United (probable)

G: Lindegaard

D: Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra

M: Carrick, Scholes

Valencia, Kagawa, Welbeck

F: Van Persie

Tottenham (probable)

G: Friedel

D: Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen

M: Dembele, Sandro

Lennon, Dempsey, Bale

F: Defoe

Prediction: Tottenham’s side seems to be taking shape after their late alterations in the transfer market. One of their signings Moussa Dembele has already dominated a game at Old Trafford this season, with Fulham, and the Belgian may make Ferguson regret not bringing him to United. With Dembele alongside Sandro, Tottenham certainly have the ability to disrupt United’s passing rhythm, while producing some forward surges of their own.

United have enough up front that they should get on the score sheet, but Tottenham could come away from Old Trafford with a rare positive result.

Manchester United 1-1 Tottenham