Sunday, February 5, 2023

Prediction: Manchester City vs Tottenham

Verdict: Manchester City win & Both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

Knowing that they face a must-win showdown on Thursday night, Manchester City will welcome Tottenham to the Etihad.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, suffering what was a shocking late collapse away at Old Trafford last weekend, Manchester City now face what is a huge uphill struggle in 2023. Eventually slumping to a 2-1 loss against their bitter local rivals, Pep Guardiola’s side find themselves sat eight points adrift of a high-flying Arsenal. Now tipped as an outside pick to defend their Premier League crown this season, the Sky Blues are seeking a much-needed boost on Thursday night. However, crashing out of the EFL Cup on January 11th following an infamous 2-0 loss away at relegation scrappers Southampton, the former Barcelona boss is calling on his superstars to claim some defensive resolve. Along with heading into the World Cup break with a stunning 2-1 loss at home against Brentford, City have recorded just a pair of clean sheets in any of their previous eight domestic matchups across all formats.

Team News

Manchester City look set to once again be without the defensive duo of Ruben Dias and John Stones on Thursday night. While Erling Haaland might still be waiting to open his account for 2023, the 22-year-old will spearhead Guardiola’s charge.

Impressing off the bench in last weekend’s 2-1 loss away at Old Trafford, England international Jack Grealish will be hoping for a full recall here.

Tottenham

As for the visitors, while Tottenham might have managed to claim a much-needed 4-0 romp away at Crystal Palace on January 4th, Antonio Conte’s side certainly came crashing back down to earth last weekend. Putting in a toothless display as they were hit with a 2-0 defeat at home against north London rivals Arsenal, the one-time Chelsea boss does find some growing pressure on his shoulders. Now sat five points adrift of finding a route back into the Champions League places, Spurs have shown a string of extended issues on either side of the World Cup break. Opening 2023 with another nightmare display on home soil as they slumped to another 2-0 loss against Aston Villa, Tottenham have won just a trio of their last 10 meetings against Premier League opposition. Gaining a reputation for their own defensive issues under Conte, Spurs will know they face another stern test here.

Team News

While Rodrigo Bentancur might have once again missed out on last weekend’s north London derby, Rodrigo Bentancur could be a timely return on Thursday night. However, long-term absentee Lucas Moura will not feature at the Etihad.

Bagging 15 strikes from his 19 Premier League appearances this season, England skipper Harry Kane will lead Tottenham’s charge in midweek.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off 11 months ago, Tottenham picked up an action-packed 3-2 victory at the Etihad.
    • In fact, Spurs claimed back-to-back Premier League victories against the defending champions last season.
    • However, Tottenham have managed to win just a trio of their last 10 straight domestic matchups across all formats.
    • Likewise, Manchester City have recorded just a pair of clean sheets in any of their previous eight domestic matchups across all formats.
    • City’s three post-World Cup appearances at the Etihad have produced eight strikes.

    Conclusion

    Suffering a late collapse at Old Trafford last weekend as they eventually slumped to a 2-1 loss, Manchester City have the feel of a side seeking a much-needed boost. Now suffering back-to-back domestic defeats across all formats, Guardiola’s side know they can not afford any more slip-ups. However, despite holding a downbeat recent record against Thursday’s guests, they will be looking to cash in on a Tottenham squad that are showing their own extended issues. Slumping to a 2-0 defeat at home against north London rivals Arsenal last time out, Spurs have claimed just a trio of wins from their previous 10 meetings against Premier League opposition. While we could be treated to an enjoyable affair from the Etihad, we’re backing a home win here.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 9/5

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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