Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Tottenham

Verdict: Manchester City to win both halves 

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

In what is the standout fixture of this week’s Premier League return, Manchester City will welcome Tottenham to the Etihad on Saturday evening.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, putting in a rampant display in their 5-0 victory away at West Ham last weekend, Manchester City couldn’t have made a more empathic statement on their Premier League return. Already seen to be an overwhelming favorite to lift their third consecutive top-flight title, last year’s historic treble-winners find the confidence in their camp at a high. Already lifting their first piece of silverware thanks to a penalties victory over Liverpool in the Community Sheild earlier in the month, one man to keep an eye out for on Saturday will be the red-hot Raheem Sterling. Bagging a hat-trick at the London Stadium last weekend, the PFA Young Player of the Year now has six in his past four matches across all competitions and will once again be a crucial factor behind City’s title defence this season. Along with already reclaiming their spot at the top of the table, Pep Guardiola’s men will also be boosted by their stellar record against Spurs, particularly on home soil. While the Sky Blues may have came crashing out of the Champions League at the hands of Tottenham in the most dramatic of fashion last season, City have come away with the victory in their last four consecutive meetings with Spurs at the Etihad.

Team News

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho could play his first game since the summer’s Copa America, while Sergio Aguero is in contention for a recall. Benjamin Mendy, who is continuing his rehabilitation after knee surgery, and Leroy Sane are long-term absentees.

Tottenham

As for the visitors, while Tottenham may have managed to mount a dramatic late comeback to pick up a hard-fought 3-1 win over a returning Aston Villa, Spurs struggled for large spells on the opening weekend. If they are to refind a similar level of form that helped them reach the Champions League final back in June, then the Lilywhites must improve on some defensive issues. Spurs have now managed to record just a single clean sheet in any of their last 12 outings. Along with holding a very worrying record away at the defending champions, Mauricio Pochettino will also be more than aware of his sides’ continued issues on the road at the back end of last season. Spurs lost each of their last six Premier League matches on their travels last year, including defeats away at Bournemouth, Burnley and Southampton. However, while Manchester City may have one English star enjoying a bright start to the new season, Spurs have their own leading man who impressed on the opening weekend. Spearheading Tottenham’s late fightback in North London against Villa, Harry Kane bagged a brace and will lead the line at the Etihad on Saturday evening.

Team News

Spurs are still without injured pair Dele Alli and Ryan Sessegnon and the suspended Son Heung-min and Juan Foyth. Ben Davies is nearing fitness and Giovani Lo Celso may be involved after his first full week’s training.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City have won five of their last six matches against Spurs, including winning each of the last four meetings at the Etihad.
  • Raheem Sterling has six goals in his last four appearances, including a hat-trick at West Ham last weekend.
  • Tottenham lost each of their last six Premier League away matches last season.
  • Saturday’s guests have also recorded just one clean sheet in their last 12 matches across all competitions.
  • Manchester City won each of their last nine Premier League matches on home soil last season, recording six clean sheets.

Conclusion

While Saturday could certainly prove to be a tough test for Pep Guardiola’s defending champions, it is hard to look past their dominant record against Spurs, particularly at the Etihad. Given a number of Tottenham’s biggest stars are still unavailable for selection and their continued defensive issues over the summer, we’re backing Manchester City to come away with the three points and another statement made to Liverpool.

Verdict: Manchester City to win both halves 

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

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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