Impeccable Manchester City will be raring to strengthen their grip on the campaign, as Pep Guardiola and co. take on Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
An intriguing affair awaits in Matchweek 24, as the Premier League leaders Manchester City will lock horns with the trembling Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
Manchester City have been thriving forward on their task to ensure their audacity all over the English soil, with fifteen straight victories across all competitions, thoroughly depict their superiority. The Citizens had managed to outsmart reigning champions Liverpool in their last league fixture by thumping 4-1, and by looking at this fixture, they would desire to paint the exact scenario yet again.
Meanwhile, with another agonising defeat in the fourth round of their FA Cup campaign against Everton, The Lilywhites haven’t managed to settle their feet down in recent events. The eighth-seated Jose Mourinho’s men need to re-establish their authority in a discerning manner, as the Spurs are all aware of the fact that an impetuous outcome of this fixture, could be fatal in their upcoming proceedings.
The reverse fixture, played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in November, saw The Spurs snatch a magnificent triumph by 2-0, with goals coming from Heung-Min Son and Giovani Lo Celso. Ahead of the latest clash, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both sides.
Team News & Tactics
Pep Guardiola will be heading to this game without some of those significant faces, as Kevin De Bruyne is all set to miss another crucial tie due to Hamstring injury. The 25-years-old Nathan Ake has been suffering from the muscle injury, and the player still needs few weeks to recover, while Sergio Aguero’s will remain as the absentee.
However, the Portuguese centre-back could be unavailable due to fitness concerns, and the Manchester City No. 16 Rodri’s availability remains doubtful too.
The Spanish Manager will set his team in his familiar 4-3-3 formation, as he would want to penetrate the midfield region of Spurs with conviction. Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson will relish the role between the sticks while the Englishman John Stones and the Frenchman Aymeric Laporte could form the centre-back pair in absence of Dias.
Joao Cancelo’s productivity through the right-back territory has been an extravagant experience in this season, as he should venture through that flank. On the other side, the 30-years-old Kyle Walker will be securing the left-back position, and his brutal pace could lighten up the event by going forward whenever it’s needed.
The Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva will play a play pivotal part in his manager’s scheme, as his creativity could be the decisive factor in sluggish phases. Ilkay Gundogan has been influential on his task, as he tends to be the dictator on recent occasions.
Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling needs to maintain the rhythm of the midfield region, and his task would be to manipulate the defensive unit with the help of Phil Foden, as both Englishmen could wreak havoc through those layers.
The Algerian international Riyad Mahrez with his left-footed acrobatics needs to be precise in the right-wing position, while Gabriel Jesus has to lead the threats in attacking half, where his ruthlessness in front of the goal could throttle the visitors at any moment.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Laporte, Walker; Silva, Gundogan, Sterling; Mahrez, Jesus, Foden
Jose Mourinho will be sweating on the fitness issues of his 28-years-old right back, as Serge Aurier still needs a decent amount of time to include himself in the upcoming proceedings. The Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso’s unavailability remains intact, as the player hasn’t managed to play any of the games since last December, and along with them, Sergio Reguilon will be missing this event due to his muscle injury.
The Tottenham Hotspur manager needs to pull off some crucial changes in the backline to adjust his plod. The Frenchman will be the inevitable figure as the No. 1, and in front of him, the Englishman Eric Dier and the 31-years-old Toby Alderweireld should construct the central defensive pair.
The Irishman Matt Doherty could start yet again as the right-back, and on the other end, Ben Davies has to be the face to uplift the threats from the left-back territory. The French central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele could form the double pivot structure with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, as their job would be cutting the threats of the hosts’ in those subtle areas and along with that, they need to ensure the stability in the centre of the Midfield.
In an event where the glittering Manchester City would desire to dominate the clash with their wholeheartedly crafted theatrics, the visitors need to be conclusive in their counter-attacking approach. Both Son Heung-Min and the Brazilian wingers have to make the most of the opportunities to discomfort Pep Guardiola and co.
The Argentine Eric Lamela will be relishing the No. 10 role, as his form has recently been quite assuring for his manager. The Spurs No. 10 Harry Kane would like to play the final piece in front of the goal, as his relentless supremacy could encourage his colleagues to batter The Citizens in their own courtyard.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Alderweireld, Davies; Ndombele, Hojbjerg; Moura, Lamela, Son; Kane
1. Tottenham Asian Handicap +1.5 @ 1.870
1. Harry Kane to score anytime @ 2.75
♦ In their last 21 meetings across all competitions, Manchester City had won the most affairs (14), while Spurs had managed to win just 7.
♦ Tottenham Hotspur have won just two of their last five league games. And on the other hand, since last November, Manchester City have been the undefeated side across all competitions.
♦ Manchester City goalkeeper will be looking forward to maintaining another clean sheet, as he has already got 13 in his locker.
♦ Although, Jose could breathe a sigh of relief, as both Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane will be fit to play together yet again. Harry Kane with 13 goals and 11 assists so far, and his partner in crime Son has bagged 13 goals & provided 6 assists.
♦ Tottenham have gathered 18 points out of 36 in their away fixtures; where the hosts’ Manchester City have taken 28 points out of possible 33 on their home turf.
Player to Watch
Phil Foden has been directly involved in 17 goals in 12 games against the 'big 6' in all competitions:
⚽⚽⚽🅰️🅰️🅰️ vs. Liverpool
⚽⚽🅰️🅰️ vs. Arsenal
⚽⚽🅰️🅰️ vs. Spurs
⚽🅰️🅰️ vs. Chelsea
🅰️ vs. Man Utd
The man for the big occasion. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/BCKhItmjD4
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) February 10, 2021
The 20-years-old English forward has been cherishing his breathtaking season, as his staggering displays define the player’s endowment in a wayward manner. Foden’s decisiveness upfront, as well as, his lethal approach towards his principles, have been one of those jubilant sights of this campaign.
The Spanish Manager seems to be the delightful dictator, as his schemes have been exquisitely narrated by the Manchester City No. 47. With 9 goals and 5 assists in 29 appearances across all competitions in this season, the player had often emerged as the game-changer for The Citizens.
Having showcased his brilliance especially in recent outings, it could be another memorable evening for Phil Foden. The player does possess a unique ability to pull the strings in most gruesome layers of any game, and at this time, the English international would be looking forward to annihilating Spurs’ defensive line.
Manchester City 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
In spite of going through a rugged phase in their campaign, Tottenham Hotspur could pull off a vivacious display here. The Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho’s rivalry with Pep has always been spectacular and this tie could allow both the masterminds to entertain the neutrals once again.