It really was a game of two halves the last time these two met, Spurs won the first half, but City won where it counts. It’s a quick turnaround for the rematch, but this time it’s in London where City haven’t always been at their best…
To Win Match
Tottenham 34/10 | Draw 31/10 | Manchester City 15/20
I might be alone in the woods with this one, but this is not as straightforward as many might expect. City have a strange relationship with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, not really scoring for fun and rarely dominating a game from start to finish.
The last time these two met, Spurs started like a house on fire before succumbing to what I can only see as a lack of belief in the face of intense and clinical pressure. Since then, they have gone on to get past Fulham and thrash Preston – but I’m not convinced they have fully turned the corner.
Antonio Conte lamented after their encounter with rivals Arsenal, that his side needed to show heart, desire, and take more risks…I’m not sure I entirely agree, but who am I? Spurs have an unquestionable amount of talent all over the pitch and with a strong (dare I say) standard cliché Conte defensive display, they will win games on the back of their attack.
I really admire teams who can defend resolutely without foregoing on their offensive prowess, and Antonio Conte has made a managerial career on that. I know we all enjoy singing the ‘but it’s Spurs tune’ but really believe they are a quality side – just one who are horribly underperforming at the minute.
Predicted Line-up: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Davies, Bentancur, Emerson, Hojbjerg, Perisic, Kulusevski, Heung-min, Kane.
A lot has been made about Manchester City not being at their fluid best, or how the team has ‘tended to underperform’ this season…its difficult then not to agree with Pep Guardiola when he supposedly says his achievements with City are at times played down.
They are second in the league and competing in Europe as well as the FA Cup – I struggle to see the reason for the alarm bells. Since the second 45 minutes against Spurs in London (where I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall) City are yet to concede a single goal. Even when asked to host the Premier League champions-elect!
That will be tested here though, Son Heung-min would have felt like a new man again after getting close to his best. The South Korean hero led the charge last time out for his side in their domestic cup clash, and with a fresh experience of confidence and up against a defensive line which can blow hot and cold, this might be a battle worth keeping your eyes on.
Predicted Line-up: Ederson, Lewis, Stones, Akanji, Laporte, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Grealish, Haaland.
Verdict: Manchester City + BTTS (43/20)
I can’t see past a City win here, no matter how we break it down. They have the adaptability element even without changing the entire picture and so the only avenue I can see for pocketing a little more coinage is by asking Spurs to spoil their third straight clean sheet!