On Saturday evening title leaders Manchester City welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad stadium in a battle between two Champions League clubs, sitting 1st and 4th in the league respectively. Manchester City enter the game sitting 11 points clear at the top of the table after a record breaking 15th successive league win following a 4-0 victory at Swansea in midweek. The home team are in fine form and are favourites against Spurs, who are too in pretty good form, coming in the match, off the back of consecutive wins in the league and also, finishing top of their challenging group in the Champions League. However, Spurs have seemed to be rather inconsistent in the League this season after struggling to beat the likes of West Brom, Watford, Leicester and Swansea, many games they are expected to take all 3 points from. Despite, Spurs’ inconsistency in league form, they have performed much better away from home, something that may be their advantage against City on Saturday, but with the home side unbeaten in the league all season it will be a tough ask of the visitors.
Tottenham Hotspur actually narrowly lead the head to head battle between the sides winning 60 of their meetings with Manchester City who have won 58. Only 35 of their meetings have ended in a draw. However, these historical statistics will mean nothing on the day and it is a game that is all to play for by two big clubs.
When the teams meet in the previous last two seasons, Spurs had the edge over their opponents taking 10 of the 12 points available and the last time Manchester City were able to beat their opponents at the Etihad stadium was actually way back in 2014. It seems Saturday’s evening game holds the potential to be an end to end entertaining game with plenty of goals.
Manager Pochettino says his confident and believes his side can win against the league leaders but it will be a massive challenge for the Lilywhites.
“I’m always confident, a positive person and believe we can win. For us it is a massive challenge but it is a game that you don’t need to motivate your players, you don’t need to talk too much.
Pochettino also spoke about the gap between the two teams in the league.
“We only can compare with ourselves and try to improve, it always disappoints you when you are behind someone. It is a completely different philosophy and project, everything is different in this football club.”
The Spurs boss was full of praise for his opponents too.
“They are having a fantastic season and I think they deserve all the praise and credit. The way they are playing is fantastic, it’s an exciting team and how they are playing is very good.”
Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola also expressed the importance of tomorrow’s game and insists his side can still improve.
“Tomorrow is an important game. Spurs are tough, last season and this season. It is important to play better, the record will always stay there until one day it is broken. I am happy not with the results but the way we play but I have a feeling we can be much, much better.”
He also admitted how it is not going to be easy as Spurs are a ‘top team’.
“Spurs are a top team. It doesn’t matter where they are now, for me they are still a top team. The results are the results. I see what they do and not their position. I have a lot of respect for Tottenham and what they do.”
There is no fresh injury news for the away side with Sanchez suspended for the last game of his three match ban, Toby Alderweireld is still out with a Hamstring injury while Victor Wanyama remains on the sideline with a knee problem.
Erik Lamela, who returned in the starting lineup for the away side in midweek for the first time this year after recovering from hip surgury, might be a slight doubt after a lack of game time as Pochettino says his body starting to adapt again to minutes on the pitch.
“It was so important for him to feel from the beginning. After the game he was so tired. It’s not the same to play 20 minutes. It’s good because he needs to adapt his body, it’s not the same as training. He’s feeling better and better.”
Dele Alli, who was left on bench in midweek to his disappointment, looks to return to the starting lineup and Pochettino expressed how Dele needed some rest but is ready for tomorrow’s game.
“He’s ready and training well. It’s always important the player does not feel so good and not 100 per cent, as he was ill for the game against Stoke, to rest. THe players are always frustrated when they don’t play, he’s happy but always the frustration. They struggle to understand sometimes when the coaching staff and manager try to care about everyone. That is football. We need to understand the players always want to play.”
For Manchester City, there isn’t a lot of injury concerns, John Stones remains sidelined with a hamstring injury but is close to returning while Vincent Kompamy is a minor doubt.
“Vincent is much better. He has a little problem. I don’t know if tomorrow he will be fit but hopefully in the next day’s he will be ready. John Stones is much, much better. One or two weeks, he will be ready.”
Spurs Fans have also had their say on tomorrow’s clash against Manchester City with many seeing with a bit of hope and luck a shock Spurs result.
@rickyboyg – ‘If anyone can beat City it’s us. We beat Real Madrid! Poch brought the high press to the PL and we are the masters of it. I’m confident. 2-1 Spurs, Kane and Son!’0
@Timo_C15 – ‘Confident we can take points from City. Need a tight defence though. Central midfield will be the most important battle! Hoping for a 2-1 win for Spurs, Kane and Alli to score.’
@suttonellie_ – ‘Think it is going to be toughest game this season and every player is going to need to have maximum concentration. They (Man City) have players that can hurt us. It is going to be end to end. 2-2 Spurs, with Lamela, Son and KDB with the goals.
@CharlieCooper90 – ‘I’m looking forward to this game. City are on a good run but I do believe we can stop that and win or draw personally I’m seeing a 2-2 draw with Harry Kane to score first.’
@JCManderley – ‘Interesting game for Tottenham. I’m not expecting too much, but I think we’ll put up a good fight, maybe similar to the match at Stamford Bridge. Tottenham 1 – 3 Man City.’
@aakash_shah94 – ‘It’s difficult but not impossible. There’s hope but anything can happen. I predict a 1-1 draw.’
@rookieyoung1 – ‘It will be tough obviously. We are short of our best 11 and unfortunately the ones missing are all defensive and so I can’t see anything but a defeat. I think we will play like we did in Madrid, but without Llorente.’
@trevk37 – ‘2-1 to Spurs, someone has to end City’s run, Son and late Kane winner.’
@chubz_e – ‘I reckon we will end their winning streak like we did last year, either with a win or a draw, I feel we can snatch the game 3-2 with Kane (2), Son, Aguero and Sterling scoring. We need to start of really attacking like we did in the Liverpool game and also need to adapt to counter attacking football like against Real Madrid.’
@c_spurs10 – ‘Right now the way City are playing I would take a point. 1-1. We are not at our best and will miss Toby.’
@PRADIXTAMA – ‘City 1 – Spurs 3’.
@OttawayJacob – ‘City 3 Spurs 1. City I believe could go unbeaten this season, they have the best midfield, and to be fair, potentially attack in the league. Spurs have a weakened defence unfortunately, therefore I see a potential struggle. Sterling, Sane, and KDB on the scoresheet and Kane too.’
@antdaoneandonly – ‘Walker to get burned by Son, Son with the cross to Kane for the winner to end the Man City’ run.’
@KieranBlackler – ‘Manchester City are running away with the league and we are quite inconsistent, but City have had to leave it late quite a lot recently to get the win, I believe we will stop them doing that. Either 3-0 City or 2-1 Spurs victory.’
@DaleGlazier – ‘2-1 to Spurs.’
@MarcusDrabwell – ‘We need to win to keep up momentum they will look to ensure they remain unbeaten. I’m going for a 2-2 draw with KDB and Aguero to score in the first half and Kane to get a brace to get us back in it.’
@honksdog – ‘Tough game for Spurs but we’re not expected to get a positive result. A draw would be a complete bonus. Fingers crossed for a 1-1’.
@spurssy – ‘Intriguing game. If we can stop City’s winning run it will be interesting to see how they react during the busy Christmas period. Tough ask but then no one thought we’d get results at Madrid and Dortmund. Hard work, belief and some good fortune needed tomorrow.’
@ThfcOwen – ‘2-2 Son and Kane. Not expecting much but will be positive. Maybe being the underdogs will suite us like it did with Madrid.’
@DaRealMedina – ‘City 2 – Spurs 2. Goalscorers Silva, KDB, Son and Alli.’
@Londonmazza – ‘There will be goals. Both teams will try and win with better attacking options than defences, at least 3 goals, won’t be surprised if there is four or five! It’s down to who takes their chances on the day but I’ve a sneaky feeling for the Spurs.’
@Macaully_Moffat – ‘Hardest challenge of the season so far. City are looking unstopable, and I’m nervous. But, we can win on our day. We need to play our game. Would take a point though.’
@dylanbell27 – ‘I think we will draw with Man City, the score will be 2-2 with Kane and Lamea to score. i think we can cause them trouble on the counter and exploit their centre backs. COYS’.’
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