Carrick ready for Spurs test
Manchester United's Michael Carrick fears former club Tottenham may have their best chance yet of ending their Old Trafford jinx on Saturday. But the England international is confident United can rise to the challenge to maintain their proud home record against the Londoners in the Premier League. Spurs have not won at United's ground in the competition since its inception in 1992 but now boast one of their best sides for years. Having finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League last term, Spurs are again riding high in fifth and boast two of the country's most in-form players in Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart. United, while being two points better off, have not been at their most clinical this term and Harry Redknapp's men may sense an opportunity. Carrick, who moved from White Hart Lane in an £18.6million deal four years ago, told the club's website, www.manutd.com: "Records like that won't affect the game. "If we've had a bad time somewhere, we go into it as a fresh game. It's all new. "We need to be on our guard because it's a big test. They're playing well and have had some great results. "They've got such a strong squad that it's going to be a challenge, but we rise to challenges. Hopefully we do that again." After an indifferent spell, United have won their last three matches in all competitions and Carrick feels it is important now to build momentum. The 29-year-old said: "We need to focus on putting a good run together. "But you can't look too far ahead and start planning how your run will pan out. "We've got a huge game against Spurs and we're focused on that first, but around the camp the atmosphere is bubbly and the lads are happy." Edwin van der Sar will take his place in goal a day after celebrating his 40th birthday. The veteran former Holland international - with errors such as his high-profile gaffe against West Brom a fortnight ago still a rarity - remains a firm fixture in the United side. United were linked with Liverpool's Jose Reina as a potential replacement earlier this week but manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels Van der Sar is still going strong. "Absolutely brilliant, incredible," Ferguson said. "He has gone on because he has prepared his whole life to being a top player. "His preparation, training, standard of life - everything has been geared to staying in the game as long as he has. "We haven't spoken about it [the future] but I think he is enjoying football at the moment and let him continue."
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