Prediction: Correct Score 2-0
Tottenham Hotspur could potentially reclaim top spot in the Premier League on Saturday evening as they host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho’s troops have enjoyed an excellent start to the new campaign and could put down another marker with victory against the Sky Blues at the weekend.
Despite not really being talked up as title contenders before the season got underway, Spurs have displayed plenty of reasons so far as to why they could be genuine challengers. The North-Londoners have only lost one out of their opening eight Premier League games, that solitary loss coming right at the start of the season in the 1-0 reverse at the hands of Everton. One aspect that has been particularly impressive about their showings this season under the otherwise conservative Mourinho is the team’s goalscoring. In 15 matches in all competitions this campaign, they have netted 38 goals at a rate of just over 2.5 per game, with 2.3 being netted per Premier League game. This is quite a considerable increase upon last season’s numbers where the team only managed to score just 1.6 goals per game.
It is not just offensively that Spurs have improved though – their defence has also been stubborn having conceded the joint-least goals in the league thus far this season. If they can combine that defensive solidarity with the highly impressive attacking that they possess against Manchester City, then they will surely have a great chance of claiming another three points.
Upon his return from international duty, Matt Doherty is set to be missing having tested positive for COVID-19. That could also put Gareth Bale’s fitness into doubt with the two having gone head to head for their respective nations last week. Harry Winks also has a slight knock but could be fine for the weekend, with the likes of Japhet Tanganga, Steven Bergwijn and Tanguy Ndombele all set to return. Erik Lamela has moved onto his final stage of recovery so this match may well come too soon for him.
Ahead of the trip to North London at the weekend, the Citizens have been handed a huge boost with manager Pep Guardiola signing a new contract until 2023. He was otherwise set to be out of contract at the end of the current campaign but has committed his future to the club. The Spaniard then will be keen to improve their fortunes this season sooner rather than later as they currently occupy tenth place in the Premier League table. Whilst that is not too much of a problem at this early stage of the campaign, they will certainly need to improve if they are to reclaim their title from Liverpool. The main problem that they have experienced so far this season is not losing games – they have only suffered one defeat in the league this season – but they have struggled to actually earn wins. Of their seven opening games, they have drawn three, with two of those coming against sides they would have otherwise expected to have beaten: Leeds United and West Ham United.
Sergio Aguero could step up his return to action from a hamstring injury. The Argentine has missed the last two Premier League games. He could be joined in the matchday squad by Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy who are also ready to be involved again. In less positive news however, Raheem Sterling picked up a slight calf injury on international duty so might be restricted to the sidelines. Nathan Ake is also out with a hamstring strain.
Key Facts To Consider
- Manchester City have a marginal advantage in the all-time statistics between the two sides (W64, D36, L63)
- Tottenham have won four out of their last six home matches against City in all competitions
- Harry Kane has already had a hand in 15 goals in just eight Premier League matches this season (seven goals, eight assists)
- Jose Mourinho has not won back-to-back games against Manchester City since the 2013/14 season
- Tottenham won the last clash between the two 2-0 in February
Considering the quality on display between the two sides, this game really should be a fascinating watch. Spurs’ in-form front-line will surely be confident going up against a City side who are not necessarily in the best of form. However, the visitors are always capable of causing problems for any opponent so this game could be a high-scoring draw.
Prediction: Correct Score 2-0
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