Saturday, 18th October 2014
It’s the battle of the South American Managers, Mauricio Pochettino, the argentine vs Manuel Pelligrini, the Chilean. Who will be victorious ?
Tottenham face their demons for the first time this season. Jokes that some Tottenham players are yet scarred from last season’s 6-0 and 5-1 thrashing are making rounds. However with a better skilled side as compared to last time and with a new manager at the helm, maybe things just might work their way. Manchester City on the other hand have relished two back to back victories and will look to repeat their show from the previous season and make it three in a row ( both premier league victories as well as against Tottenham)
Team News and Tactics
Pelligrini is often feared for his tactical prowess and also the squad he has at his disposal. The English Keeper Joe Hart will start along with Kompany, Mangala at the center. Zabaleta and Clichy will play right and left respectively. Mangala’s inclusion is a threat to Tottenham as the defender is not only physically strong but also a lot faster than Demichelis, and so can cope with adebayor or lamela’s pace. Clichy and Zabaleta’s main role would be to shut down Lamela and Townsend respectively so that they do not stretch the defense.
Pelligrini will be using a 4 man midfield where Silva will play on the left Milner on the right and Fernando and Toure center. This midfield will work in two ways. Silva and Milner both versatile can go wide at will and deliver crosses to Dzeko and Toure who both are aerially threatening or cut in take shots or play passes to Aguero and Dzeko. Toure in a free role will look to run amuck the whole field aiding Fernando to will cover the back four as well as attacking. His ability to score from set pieces are also a plus for the team and so any free kick conceded by Tottenham would work to his benefit.
The two strikers Aguero and Dzeko are a pair as threatening as Suarez-Sturridge of last season. Aguero as he usually does will play a little deeper coming back to the midfield to receive the ball and will look to feed Dzeko. His pace might be a hindrance for veteran Kaboul, and will look to out manoeuvre the Tottenham Defense.
The Manchester City bench will one that is as threatning, Navas the player who scored in 14 seconds against Spurs will be one Pelligrini could unleash at his whim while Jovetic and Lampard are players one shouldn’t forget as their ability to come off the bench and knick a goal or two is a threat ever team should consider.
Tottenham have two big concerns ahead of this fixture, one being the fitness of Hugo Lloris and two is to fill in the place of Nacer Chadli whose injury seems worse than the former’s. However, if both are somehow pronounced fit to play it would be a blessing for the north London side.
Assuming the two are to miss out the fixture, Pochettino will play Michael Vorm on goal. The Swansea keeper is yet to make his premier league appearance in a Spurs shirt, but is in no way inexperienced. His performance in the last season for Swansea is evidence he can keep a clean sheet or two. However a flawless performance will be required of him against the likes of Manchester City. Accompanying him in defense would be Captain Kaboul and Vertonghen as center backs while Dier will replace the injured Naughton on the right and Danny Rose on the left.
In midfield, Pochettino will continue with the pairing of Capoue and Mason. Capoue has proved in the last few games that he definitely is the best defensive midfielder in the premier league and will be key to provide cover for the back four. This game will be a true test of his skill as here he will have to mark a playmaker who for once is as big if not bigger than him (Yaya Toure). Mason much like Bentaleb last season has been a revelation. Although he is yet to score his first premier league goal, has been an efficient deep lying playmaker for Spurs. His vision will be key to enable Spurs to get forwards and score.
With Chadli mostly out of action the left side of midfield is most likely to be occupied by Andros Townsend. The English international will be brimming with confidence after scoring for his country and will look to trouble the City defense with long range efforts and a regular supply of crosses. Eriksen will play the number ten role and will look to score again after his fantastic long rage goal against Southampton in the previous fixture. Lamela who has been brilliant so far this season will be put to the test. The Spurs player will have all eyes on him to see if he can step up and perform against a bigger and tougher opponent.
The Lone Striker will again be Emmanuel Adebayor. Playing another one of his former clubs, Ade might be keen on showing them a thing or two and would look eager to score. However, it is posibble Pochettino would expect him to play a little deeper as he did against Arsenal.
- Tottenham’s top scorer Nacer Chadli (4 goals) is doubtful for this game
- Manchester City have won the last four Home games against Spurs
- Manchester City are undefeated un the last 20 of their 22 home games
- Tottenham have been under 2.5 goals scored in last 3 of Tottenham’s Games
Player to watch
After scoring against Vertonghen during the International break for Bosnia in their 1-1 draw against Belgium, Dzeko will look to get the better of the Spurs defender in this match. Dzeko will be the player to watch as he will look to poke the ball in the back of the net at every opportunity and will be the brighter of the two strikers for Manchester City.
Manchester City 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
With Pochettino’s pressing style of play, Spurs will leave give no room for city to penetrate their defence. However with the quality of attacking players Manchester City will be able to score two past Tottenham. If however Lloris is to be played a miracle could be expected of him and hence reducing the damage.