Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City face Champions League finalists Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, in an early encounter against a fellow top four opponent.
City got off to the dream start on the opening weekend of the season, scoring five away from home in a whitewash against former manager Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham.
Raheem Sterling bagged himself a hat-trick and looked dangerous throughout, terrifying the Hammers with his pace and movement.
Spurs, meanwhile, were up against a resilient Aston Villa, who took an early lead and proceeded to defend in numbers. Christian Eriksen’s introduction in the second half allowed the Lilywhites to break the newly-promoted side down, with eventual goals from summer signing Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane sealing all three points.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 17 August|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Etihad Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event; Fubo TV – Free Trial|
Where to Buy Tickets
Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both team’s official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.
City are missing left-sided players Benjamin Mendy and Leroy Sane, with the latter expected to be side-lined for the majority of the campaign having suffered an ACL injury in pre-season. Mendy’s knee injury is likely to keep him out of action until next month.
Bernardo Silva’s unexpected omission from the side last week is unlikely to continue, with the winger odds-on to replace Riyad Mahrez, despite the Algerian’s superb performance against West Ham. Sergio Aguero should start having gained more fitness following his late return to pre-season.
Son Heung-min is serving the last of his three-game suspension, having received a red card in the penultimate game of last season against Bournemouth, while Dele Alli, Juan Foyth and Ben Davies remain unavailable for Mauricio Pochettino.
Late summer signing Ryan Sessegnon continues to recover from a hamstring injury, although Giovani Lo Celso could play a role. Spurs fans will be hopeful that Eriksen starts despite transfer speculation, and that Jan Vertonghen’s absence against Villa was a one-off, with no hostility between player and manager.
|Manchester City||Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva; Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling. |
|Tottenham||Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks, NDombele, Eriksen; Moura, Kane.|
Head to Head Record
Historically this match-up is incredibly even, with Manchester City winning 63 games to Tottenham’s 61. It is in recent seasons, however, where the pendulum has swung in City’s favour, winning five of their last six competitive games against Spurs.
The sole loss came in last season’s Champions League, with Son’s strike giving Spurs a 1-0 lead going into the second leg. At the Etihad, a dramatic, VAR-inspired encounter followed, with a crazy 4-3 win for City enough for Spurs to progress on away goals after Sterling’s last-minute finish was overruled for offside in the build-up.
With the Premier League having only just got underway, neither side has had time to build any sustained form, although victories in their opening games will give them a boost ahead of this match.
Both sides enjoyed fairly successful pre-seasons too, with City’s defeat to Wolves in the Asia Trophy final overshadowed by their Community Shield triumph over Liverpool, and Tottenham’s defeat to Manchester United bettered by wins over Juventus, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich on their way to lifting the Audi Cup.
Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|West Ham 0-5 City (10/8)||Spurs 3-1 Villa (10/8)|
|Liverpool 1-1 City (4/8)||Spurs 1-1 Inter (4/8)|
|Yokohama FM 1-3 City (27/7)||Bayern 2-2 Spurs (31/7)|
|Kitchee 1-6 City (24/7)||Real Madrid 0-1 Spurs (30/7)|
|Wolves 0-0 City (20/7)||Spurs 1-2 Man Utd (25/7)|
Despite Tottenham’s heroics in the Champions League last season, it is always hard to overlook City given the quality of players they possess – even from the bench, as Jose Mourinho jokingly referred to when stating that City’s B team could finish in the top four.
Spurs can beat anyone on their day and should not be underestimated, but without key players such as Son and Dele, it is a tall order to get a result away to the champions – Spurs fans would bite your hand off for a draw!
Prediction: Man City 3-1 Spurs