Manchester City V/S Spurs: Preview

Introduction

Spurs take on league leaders Manchester City this weekend.  The Citizens blew away Liverpool at Anfield, to win their first game there since 2003.  Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden stole the show to help the visitors come away with a 4-1 win. City now turns to Pep’s fierce rival, Jose Mourinho.

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Build Up

These two have been arguably the best managers of modern football. Between them, they have revolutionized football and changed La Liga as well the Premier League. Not to forget, Guardiola conquered Germany whilst Jose conquered Italy in 2010. Legendary players, giant clubs, league titles, and Champions Leagues.

With all of them, it is no surprise that these two iconic managers are rivals. But it is also weird how they used to be friends at Barcelona together. When Guardiola got the job for the senior team manager, Jose was fuming because Pep had never managed before.

Pep vs Jose (Coaches)
Pep vs Jose (Coaches)

Another reason for his frustration was Jose was supposed to be appointed until the last second where Guardiola was given the nod. Given the success he had at Camp Nou, it’s clear to see Jose was a bit wrong. Pep gave us the prime Messi that scored 92 goals in a calendar year back in 2012. But the two foes meet again., with the Portuguese’s side winning last time out 2-0, thanks to Son and Lo Celso.

Head To Head and Form

Saturday’s battle represents the 163rd meeting between the two sides in all competitions, and incredibly, Man City and Tottenham are both locked on 63 wins each, with the other 36 matches ending all square.

As mentioned, Mourinho earned the bragging rights earlier in the season with a 2-0 triumph in the capital, with Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso finding the back of the net in that meeting on November 21.

However, the visitors have only come out on top in one of their last 11 trips to the Etihad Stadium in all competitions, and their most recent clean sheet on Man City’s turf was back in the 2009-10 campaign

Manchester City: W-W-W-W-W

Spurs: W-L-L-L-W

Last five meetings

Spurs 2-0 Manchester City- 21st November 2020

Spurs 2-0 Manchester City- 2nd February 2020

Tottenham Hotspurs 2-2 Manchester City – 17th August 2019

Manchester City 1-0 Spurs- 20th April 2019

Manchester City 4-3 Spurs- 17th April 2019

Team News and Lineups

Manchester City

Man City’s victory at Swansea came at a cost as Rodri was forced off with 20 minutes remaining, although Guardiola has remained optimistic over the Spaniard’s availability for the weekend. Fellow defensive midfielder Fernandinho will be forced to sit this one out due to thigh problems, so Guardiola will be desperate to have Rodri available lest he risks sacrificing Ilkay Gundogan’s attacking prowess by forcing him into the number 6 role. As mentioned, Aguero and De Bruyne are ruled out. Also, Nathan Ake sidelined by a muscular problem. While Aymeric Laporte could start in defense once again if Ruben Dias does not overcome a fever in time.

Man City predicted lineup
Man City predicted lineup

Spurs

Tottenham welcomes one out-of-favor player in Dele Alli back to the fold from a tendon injury in midweek, but Gareth Bale was nowhere to be seen after suffering from muscular discomfort, and the Welshman’s involvement in this game is also uncertain. Sergio Regulion and Giovani Lo Celso had “no chance” of facing Everton according to Mourinho, so the duo are almost certain to miss out here, and there are also question marks over the involvement of Serge Aurier after he picked up a knock against West Brom. Mourinho opted to leave Kane and Carlos Vinicius out of the starting lineup against Everton, but the former will be back to lead the line here and link up with Son Heung-min once more, and that prolific partnership will be key to any Tottenham chances of victory this weekend. Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks will both look to return to the midfield.

SPURS PREDICTED LINEUP
SPURS PREDICTED LINEUP

Players to Watch Out For

Heung Min Son

The South Korean has always loved a goal against City since joining Tottenham in 2015. After helping Spurs knock Pep’s team out of the Champions League in April 2019, he’s improved significantly. And he also scored against them twice last year, in November and when Bergwijn scored on his debut. Can he add another to his 13 goals this year?

SON AND KANE (Spurs)

Harry Kane

Harry Kane recently missed a few games due to injury. He came back last game with a goal against West Brom (and there is no surprise that it was set up by Son). With only Liverpool’s Mo Salah above him in the scoring charts, can he add more to his tally? It won’t be easy. City have conceded the least goals this season. Also, Kane hasn’t scored against City in a while. Although he did bag an assist in November.

Phil Foden

Foden (Manchester City)

At just 20 years of age, the wonder kid has to be in the category of world-beaters. There are questions for England manager Gareth Southgate because he has so many playmakers to choose from. Mount? Maddison? Grealish? Foden? We’d personally pick Foden. The Stockport Iniesta can play pretty much anywhere. As a false nine, deep in midfield, on the right. You name it. After impressing in City’s romp over Liverpool, can the majestic midfielder ruin Jose’s weekend as he did with Klopp?

Ilkay Gundogan

Another City midfielder in fine form. The ex-Dortmund midfielder is one of very few midfielders who have been scoring goals for fun in 2021- including a double at Anfield last week.  Can he do it again against the North London club?

Conclusion

In a game that means so much to the managers given their rivalry for the ages, who will be happiest at the end of the day? Given the return of the Hurricane, one thing is for sure, it’ll be a game to remember.

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