Manchester City will be hoping to bounce back from last week’s shambolic defeat to Everton when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The Citizens will be buoyed by the availability of Brazilian attacking sensation Gabriel Jesus. The 19-year-old was signed in the summer on an initial contract, but only completed his £27 million move from Palmeiras on Thursday.
Manager Pep Guardiola confirmed that the Brazilian is available for selection, but it appears unlikely that he will be put straight into the starting lineup for such a high octane, top of the table clash.
Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne are likely to start on the wings, with David Silva playing slightly off Sergio Aguero in a central role. Jesus could come on for the last 30 minutes and give the Etihad faithful a glimpse of why Pep Guardiola decided to buy him.
Jesus’ Brazilian compatriot Fernandinho is guaranteed to miss the game, as he continues to serve out his four-game suspension. Fernando is a minor doubt for the contest, but given the injuries to Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan in midfield, the former Porto man is expected to be risked.
The visitors will be bereft of the services of star defender Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian picked up an injury in last week’s 4-0 win against West Brom, and is expected to miss a few weeks of action before returning to regular first-team football.
The transition to a back three has been coupled by fantastic performances from Mauricio Pochettino’s side, and despite the absence of Vertonghen, the Argentinian is unlikely to tinker with his formation. Ben Davies is expected to play on the left side of the back three.
Winger Erik Lamela is still sidelined with a hip injury, and is set to miss out on the mouth-watering contest against Manchester City. Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are expected to start as inside forwards with Kyle Walker and Danny Rose giving Spurs width from the wings. All in all, it promises to be an intriguing match between two tactically astute managers.