Tottenham travel to Manchester City in a match that could well be labelled the toughest footballing test in Premier League so far this season for the Citizens.
Tottenham have recovered from a slow start to the Premier League and are finally finding some form even at their temporary home at Wembley. Spurs will now be looking to be the team to halt Manchester City’s winning run – one which has already made records and could break further ones with a win over the visitors.
Manchester City are in some fine vein of form, with the Citizens pumping in goals past the opposition with some incredulous ease. Pep Guardiola’s men look to be running away with the title at the moment. But, we are not even past the halfway stage and things can easily change in the Premier League.
As we get closer to the potentially high-octane encounter, we take a closer look at the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
The fixture comes too soon for Vincent Kompany. The Belgian missed the midweek clash against Swansea with a muscle problem and is likely to be available by the next matchday. Guardiola has no fresh injury issues to deal with as John Stones and Benjamin Mendy remain the only other players on the injury table.
Guardiola though, could bring in some rotation to his lineup after the trip to Wales. Gabriel Jesus should return to the lineup after being rested for the Swansea fixture. Kyle Walker and Leroy Sane are also candidates for potential inclusions in the starting lineup.
The manager will not compromise on the level of football on display by his own side in order to gain victory. However, there could be minor tweaks to keep the Spurs attack in check. Fernandinho could assume a more defensive role in midfield while he could install the pace of Sane and Raheem Sterling on either flank to enable the counter-attacking option.
We could very well see Pep go with two upfront, starting both Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero – two in-form strikers – for the tie, which could be a statement in its own.
Probable Lineup (4-2-2-2): Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Delph; De Bruyne, Fernandinho; Sterling, Sane; Aguero, Jesus
Davinson Sanchez serves the final match of his three-game suspension. Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama are both out with their respective injuries. Mauricio Pochettino reverted to a back four against Brighton and it did pay dividends for Spurs.
The likes of Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele were both rested for the midweek clash and should return to the starting lineup. Erik Lamela will be the likely one to step back for Alli while Moussa Sissoko should give way in the starting lineup for Dembele.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Winks; Eriksen, Alli, Son Heung-Min; Kane
1. Both Teams to Score – YES @1.61
2. Harry Kane to score anytime @ 2.30
1. Tottenham Draw No Bet @ 4.00
1. Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in just one of their last five Premier League matchups at home to Tottenham.
2. Goal Glut – The matchup at Etihad has seen 21 goals being scored in the last 5 Premier League games.
3. Spurs have won more games away to Manchester City (10) than at any other club in the Premier League.
4. Big Game Player – Since 2011-12 Sergio Aguero has scored 35 goals in 52 Premier League games against the Big Six.
5. Kevin De Bruyne has now been involved in 13 goals (5 goals and 8 assists) in his last 14 Premier League appearances since the start of September.
Player to Watch
It is an obvious choice. If Spurs are to win, their promised prince will have to be the star at Etihad. City have several players capable of launching a threat at the opposition’s goal. But, Spurs only have a few apart from Kane, which sees the Englishman carry a greater burden.
Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham
Manchester City are riding the high wave and right now, by the way they have been performing, the wave looks like it has become a norm now. Tottenham have recovered but their away form is still a bit questionable – something they will have to shrug off if they are to win on Saturday.
Expect goals to be fired in at both ends and perhaps a draw should be a fair result. Don’t be surprised though, if we see Tottenham snap City’s unbeaten streak.