Narrow wins over Sunderland and Crystal Palace saw Tottenham revive their top 4 bid, but the Capital One Cup defeat to arch rivals Arsenal means Spurs head into the City clash low on confidence. The Citizens recovered well from back to back defeats to beat Sunderland in midweek, but they also need a victory at White Hart Lane if they are to remain at the Premier League summit.
While Spurs appear to harbour Champions League hopes season after season, the reality is they are no longer capable of mounting a serious top 4 challenge in the Premiership. Oddly enough, in spite of the heavy spending in recent years, the current crop of players seem to lack the quality of character needed to live up to pre-season expectations, and club management led by Daniel Levy has got to take the blame for that. Last term, Harry Kane’s goals at least gave Tottenham a fighting chance of finishing in top four, but with the England starlet yet to score for his club this term, things are not looking very promising. The only positive has been Heung-Min Son’s bright start to the career in England, but with Kane low on confidence and Christian Eriksen struggling for fitness after missing few weeks through injury, Spurs cannot be trusted to match star-studded Manchester City. It is also important to note that Tottenham have lost eight of last nine meetings with their next opponents, so there’s not much more we can add there. As far as selection problems are concerned, Moussa Dembele, Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason and Alex Pritchard continue to miss out.
Manchester City’s perfect start to the season that saw Manuel Pellegrini’s charges win five straight games without conceding came to an abrupt end as the Citizens were beaten at home by Juventus at the start of the Champions League campaign, before West Ham rubbed salt into the wound by leaving Etihad with three points. And while the winning streak was bound to end eventually, it was how the team responded to back to back defeats that counts, and 4-1 away win over Sunderland in the Capital One Cup seems like a perfect way to return to the right track in our book. Having allowed local rivals Manchester United to climb within two points in the Premier League standings, Manchester City now need to ensure they remain at the top and the only way to do that is to beat out-of-sorts Spurs at the Lane. Given the impressive record in previous meetings with the North London side, that shouldn’t prove such a difficult task despite the fact that David Silva has failed to recover from injury. We have a feeling that £55 million signing Kevin De Bruyne can do a good job as well. Meanwhile, Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri should return to the side.
Spurs have so far failed to win any of the matches against England’s top sides and we cannot see the barren run ending against Premier League leaders Manchester City. The Citizens are effectively back in business and we are backing them to record a fairly comfortable win at White Hart Lane.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 19/20
Bookmaker: William Hill