Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tottenham will cause City problems this weekend

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 29 Sep 2016

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will be plotting the downfall of Manchester City this weekend

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will be plotting the downfall of Manchester City this weekend

Manchester City’s perfect record under Pep Guardiola came to an end on Wednesday.

The team to end that perfect start was SPL champions Celtic who drew 3-3 with the Citizens in the Champions League.

The Scottish team took the lead on three occasions, before Guardiola’s side pegged them back all three times with the pulsating encounter finishing in a draw.

The draw may have given Brendan Rodgers side hope. However, it will have also given City’s weekend opponents Tottenham hope of gaining a positive result, as they look to gain ground on Guardiola’s team at the top of the Premier League.

Tottenham are unbeaten in the top-flight

Tottenham have made a bright start to their Premier League campaign, winning four and drawing two of their top-flight games so far. Mauricio Pochettino’s side only defeat so far this season came in a 2-1 home defeat by Monaco in the Champions League.

The north London side have looked strong in the English top-flight though, but something has to change this weekend. Tottenham will want to preserve their unbeaten top-flight record against the early league leaders. Meanwhile City will want to extend their winning run in the top-flight to seven games.

There would have been no doubt in the City camp that the run could continue prior to the Celtic draw. You just have to wonder whether the non-victory has sewn seeds of doubt in the City players’ minds.

Looked very shaky at the back

City looked very shaky in defence against Celtic. Guardiola’s decision to play Serbian full-back Aleksandar Kolarov as a centre-back continues to baffle me to be honest. Why play a player out of position when England international John Stones was sitting on the bench.

Maybe Pep is just over-complicating things, when it should have been simple. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi are centre-backs so they should play as centre-backs. It was not the first time Guardiola used Kolarov as a centre-back.

However, in previous games he was not really tested, while against a lively young striker in Moussa Dembele he was run ragged and as a result the visitors conceded three goals.

It is not for me to question the judgment of a fantastic boss like Guardiola. I am sure the former-Barcelona boss knows his players better than me, but Kolarov had a stinker. You guarantee that Stones and Otamendi will be restored as the centre-back partnership this weekend at White Hart Lane.

Even without star striker Harry Kane, Tottenham are quite a force going forward. South Korean star Heung-Min Son seems to be on fire, scoring five times in his last four appearances for the side from north London.

Everybody connected with Spurs will now fancy their chances of ending City’s top-flight winning run under Guardiola.

The draw may refocus City players

Despite that slight slip up at Celtic Park, City are still favourites to come away from north London with all three points at odds of 7/5.

Spurs have had the better of recent meetings though, winning the last two games last season. However, City have managed to win seven of the last ten encounters in all competitions between the pair, so have a pretty dominant record against the north London side.

The draw at Celtic will be considered a minor blip for Pep Guardiola and his team. In fact, it may even make them more determined to win this clash. City have not suddenly became a bad team overnight and there is serious quality in their team, even without the outstanding Kevin De Bruyne.

Manchester City have started Guardiola’s reign as boss in good fashion. However, just like any other team they are not infallible and can beaten. A Tottenham team on a good run of results and with their tails up will now fancy their chances of becoming the first team to best Guardiola in the Premier League.

Can Spurs end Manchester City’s perfect Premier League record under Guardiola?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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