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FA Cup Match Preview – Tottenham vs Manchester City

Holders Manchester City travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face Spurs in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend.

The venue has been Pep Guardiola’s ‘Achilles heel’ in English football, having lost all five of their previous visits without scoring a goal and will be hoping to break the curse on their sixth visit.

Here’s everything you need to know about this Friday’s clash.

Form

Tottenham Hotspur: DWWLW

Spurs overcame Premier League opposition in Burnley in round three to book a home tie with holders Manchester City.

The only goal of the game came via a Pedro Porro wonder strike deep into the second half to continue their record of making it past round three in every season for the past decade.

Last season, a disappointing FA Cup campaign came to an end in the fifth round at the hands of then second-tier Sheffield United. Ange Postecoglou’s men have exited the competition at round five in four consecutive seasons.

Despite dominating large portions of the game, the North London outfit had to come from behind twice last time out to draw 2-2 at Manchester United, to stay within touching distance of the Premier League’s top four.

With South Korean star Heung-min Son away on international duty at the Asian Cup, Postecoglou brought in new signing Timo Werner at Old Trafford.

The German international signed on loan from RB Leipzig this January and provided an assist for Rodrigo Bentancur’s second-half equaliser.

Spurs will once again be without starting midfield duo Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma as they continue their AFCON campaigns but James Maddison may be in contention to start for the first time since November after recovering from an ankle issue.

Manchester City: WWWWW

Kevin De Bruyne’s return to Premier League football helped the Citizens extend their unbeaten run to nine in all competitions with a 3-2 win at Newcastle last time out.

The Belgian midfielder was subbed onto the pitch with 20 minutes left on the clock and it only took him four minutes to score on his return, with a perfectly-placed shot past Martin Dubravka.

In stoppage time, De Bruyne turned provider as his defence-splitting ball found academy graduate Oscar Bobb, who found the back of the net to gain a valuable three points in the Premier League title race.

Last season’s treble winners began their FA Cup defence in style as they dispatched Championship side Huddersfield 5-0 at the Etihad with Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku all on the scoresheet.

Pep Guardiola’s men will be confident going into the Spurs clash given their recent record in football’s oldest competition.

Under the Spaniard, the North West outfit have only failed to reach at least the semi-finals once, when they were knocked out by Paul Cook’s Wigan in the fifth round back in 2018.

Erling Haaland is closing in on a return to the squad following an ongoing foot problem but is a doubt for the game, though John Stones is in contention to return.

Last Meeting

Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur, December 3rd 2023.

Ange Postecoglou and Pep Guardiola have both been heavily involved in some of the best games this season and the last time the two met was no different, as they played out a Premier League classic at the Etihad in December.

Spurs sprung an electric counter-attack to give them an early lead, as Heung-min Son powered past Jeremy Doku and finished past Ederson. The South Korean went from hero to zero instantly as just three minutes later, the 31-year-old fired into his own net to tie up the game.

For the home side, big chances went begging and the post was struck before Phil Foden gave his side the lead for the first time, finishing from close range following a spell of pressure inside the Spurs penalty area.

Tidy second-half finishes from Giovani Lo Celso and Jack Grealish meant City led going into the closing stages before Dejan Kulusevski towered over Rico Lewis to head home at the back post to earn Spurs a point.

Predicted Lineups

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Maddison; Johnson, Richarlison, Kulusevski.

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne; Foden, Doku, Alvarez.

Who is the referee?

Paul Tierney.

Is Tottenham vs Manchester City on TV?

UK and Ireland: ITV1.

USA: ESPN+.

What time is kick-off?

Friday 26th January, 20:00 GMT.

Odds

Tottenham Hotspur – 10/3

Draw – 3/1

Manchester City – 7/10

Read – Postecoglou says Spurs must ‘adjust’ against Man City

Read also – 30 of the most iconic football photos ever taken: Pele, Maradona, and Pickles the dog

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