Manchester City go into Saturday’s game on the back of a 4-0 hiding away at Everton, whilst Spurs have quickly risen from fifth to second. Here is our Match Preview.
- Man City v Tottenham
- Etihad Stadium
- 17:30 GMT
- BT Sport
Two teams in very different form go head to head in a crunch tea time game at the Etihad. This will be a crucial three points for the winner in terms of their season and their title credentials.
Manchester City go into this one on the back of a terrible 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Everton and have lost 2 out of their last 4 games. City have really struggled this season for consistent form other than the opening few games of the season. They have struggled to cope more recently with suspensions to Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho (who remains suspended).
However, City have won 5 out of the 6 meetings between the two at the Etihad and will be looking to continue this on Saturday evening. It would seem logical for Guardiola to tinker with the lineup for this game, as it would seem Pablo Zabaleta, who has taken a central midfield role in recent weeks, would struggle physically up against Wanyama and Dembele.
City remain 10 points adrift of Chelsea, and a win in this game will see City move level with Tottenham. However, City do boast a reasonably strong home record, with Chelsea the only team to come away from the blue side of Manchester with maximum points this term. Everybody knows how strong City can be when they click at home, as shown by their 3-1 home victory over Barcelona. With attacking players such as De Bruyne, Silva and Aguero they will fancy their chances to score, its just whether their defence can combat Tottenham’s attacking force.
Spurs head into this one in flying form winning 6 premier games on the spin. Saturday gives them an opportunity to make it 7 on the bounce and create a new premier league record for wins in a row for the club. The recent form of the attacking trio of Alli, Eriksen and Kane will surely be licking their lips at the chance to play against a struggling defensive unit and a very suspect Goalkeeper in Claudio Bravo.
Spurs will have to be aware that City will have to show a reaction to the hammering defeat to Everton and this could be a very difficult game for them as a consequence. This current Tottenham team seem to have the beating of City recently and have won the last three meetings between the sides. If Spurs are to continue to battle it out with Chelsea at the top of the league, it is crucial to beat a top side away from home, as they’ve worked so hard to make White Hart Lane a fortress this season. The key for Spurs will be to press high up against City and wait for the mistakes which have been the recipe for disaster for Man City this season. It is important for Spurs to come away from the game without getting beat, especially to keep on track with the primary target this season, to retain Champions League football.
Man City: Fernandinho out (suspended), Fernando out(late fitness test) Gundogan out (knee) Gabriel Jesus (available)
Predicted lineup: Bravo, Sagna Otamendi Kolarov Clichy, Toure Zabaleta, Sterling Silva De Bruyne, Aguero.
Tottenham: Vertonghen out (ankle), Lamela out (hip)
Predicted lineup: Lloris, Dier Alderweireld Wimmer, Walker Wanyama Dembele Rose, Alli Eriksen, Kane
I expect the game to be very tight as both sides will be wanting to at least take a point away from the game. Spurs and City will miss key players such as Fernandinho and Vertonghen, but I expect Spurs to cope better with these changes due to the lack of physical strength of Zabaleta in the key midfield battle against the powerhouses Wanyama and Dembele. If Spurs can remain patient and be as dangerous and ruthless on the counter attack, Eriksen and Alli will unlock the door regularly. However I do expect a very strong reaction from City in front of their home crowd.
Score prediction: Man City 1-1 Spurs.