Tottenham Hotspur can move to within four points of Premier League leaders Chelsea by inflicting defeat upon struggling and out-of-form Manchester City this weekend (5.30pm Saturday, BT Sport 1).
Man City have struggled for form in the last couple of months, with a 4-0 defeat by Everton last time out the nadir of their season so far. Pep Guardiola’s charges have gone from title favourites to top-four outsiders in the Premier League betting a relatively short space of time. It has become imperative that they avoid another slip-up when Spurs come to town on Saturday evening.
Question marks over the team’s defensive unit have lingered ever since the start of the campaign, with favoured duo John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi both turning in some shaky showings while being supported by ageing full-backs on both sides. A midfield pair of Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta pales in comparison to some of the engine room operators Guardiola was able to call upon at his two former clubs, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Even more worryingly, Sergio Aguero (pictured) looks out of sorts up front, Kevin De Bruyne’s form has dipped since the early parts of the season and, more generally, Man City have struggled to create chances in many of their recent outings.
Tottenham delivered one of the most complete performances of the Premier League campaign when they last took to the field, thrashing West Bromwich Albion 4-0 in front of their own supporters at White Hart Lane. Spurs created scoring opportunities at will and barely allowed their opponents a chance at the other end of the field, with Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane all causing havoc as the three most advanced players in Mauricio Pochettino’s new 3-4-3 formation.
Spurs have risen to second spot after winning each of their last six encounters in the top flight. Although it will still be a big ask to overhaul Chelsea at the summit of the standings – Antonio Conte’s outfit currently have a seven-point advantage over the north Londoners and Liverpool – Tottenham have worked themselves into a promising position with 16 games still to play after this weekend’s showdown with Manchester City.
Guardiola will be missing Vincent Kompany (knee), Ilkay Gundogan (knee) and Fernandinho (suspension), but Fernando is expected to shake off a knock in time to be involved – perhaps as a starter but more likely as a substitute. Gabriel Jesus could feature for the first time since joining from Brazilian champions Palmeiras but will find it difficult to displace De Bruyne, David Silva or Raheem Sterling. Aguero will be looking for only his second Premier League goal since the 2-1 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor in November.
Tottenham will be without central defender Jan Vertonghen (ankle), who will be replaced in the starting XI by one of Ben Davies or Kevin Wimmer, while Erik Lamela is still absent with a hip problem. Pochettino will be loath to make too many changes to a side that has been thriving in the last few weeks. That means the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Kieran Trippier and Son Heung-min will again have to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench.
Our Man City v Spurs Betting Tips Conclusion
The form book points to a Spurs success against City at the Etihad Stadium, with Pochettino’s men heading into this heavyweight clash full of confidence and self-belief. The best bet in this one therefore looks to be a victory for the visitors.
Denmark international Eriksen, who has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions, may reward punters who back him to find the back of the net at some stage on Saturday. So this preview’s betting tips’ selections are: