Tottenham Hotspur will hope to avoid a fourth consecutive thrashing at the hands of Manchester City when the two sides meet at White Hart Lane on Sunday (16:00 BST, live on Sky Sports).
Spurs come into the match on the back of a patchy run of form that has seen them win two, draw two and lose two of their last six league fixtures. They are sixth in the Premier, with 58 points from 17 wins, seven draws and 10 defeats.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side held on to their top-six position with a valuable 2-2 draw away to his former employers Southampton on Saturday. They twice went behind, on the first occasion due to a succession of defensive errors, but were able to pull themselves back level on both occasions thanks to goals in either half from Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli.
The performance provided a neat encapsulation of the strengths and weaknesses of this Spurs side. While they largely functioned well in attack against the division’s meanest defence, with Chadli joining Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane (pictured) on double figures in the league for the season, their defensive organisation left a lot to be desired.
Spurs have the fifth best scoring record in the league, with 55 goals in their 34 matches to date. However, their defensive record is comfortably the worst of any side in the top six. Indeed, only four sides in the league have conceded more goals than Tottenham’s 49 so far this season. It is the main reason they are all but out of the top-four running.
Pochettino is without the injured Ben Davies (shoulder) and Kyle Walker (foot) for this game, while Danny Rose (hamstring) is doubtful.
Man City travel south on the back of five straight home wins and four straight away defeats in league play, and having won just four of their last 10 matches in all competitions. They are second in the Premier League table, with 67 points from 20 wins, seven draws and seven defeats.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side just about overcame Aston Villa in a five-goal thriller at the Etihad last Saturday. Sergio Aguero gave them an early lead, which was doubled by Aleksandar Kolarov on 66 minutes. However, Villa quickly pulled one back and then levelled with five minutes to play. Substitute Fernandinho saved City’s blushes with an 89th-minute winner.
It was not the most convincing of performances but it nevertheless yielded three points that saw them move back ahead of Arsenal (who have played a game less) and city rivals Manchester United into second. Indeed, as Pellegrini noted afterwards, given that they have dominated numerous matches without reward perhaps they were due a win of that nature.
Man City have undoubtedly regressed in comparison to last season’s title-winning campaign. They have both scored less and conceded more goals per match this time around, with their underlying statistical profiles at both ends of the pitch largely matching this drop off. They are still a good side, albeit one that is in need of some squad renewal this summer.
Pellegrini can not use the injured Samir Nasri (leg), Stevan Jovetic (muscle) and Vincent Kompany (thigh), while Gael Clichy (knock) and Yaya Toure (hamstring) are unlikely.
Tottenham v Man City Betting Tips Verdict
Man City were 4-1 winners when these sides met at the Etihad in October and also recorded commanding 5-1 (away) and 6-0 (at home) victories in last season’s two encounters. Indeed, City have won seven of the last eight meetings between the sides at all venues. However, the last six at White Hart Lane have yielded three wins for Spurs, two for City and one draw.
Tottenham lost 1-0 to relegation-threatened Aston Villa in their last home match but had previously gone 10 matches unbeaten in the league at White Hart Lane on a run that included victories over both Arsenal and Chelsea. City’s recent away form is very poor and Spurs will therefore be relatively confident of taking something from Sunday’s match.
Man City have lost five and won just one of their last eight away matches in all competitions, while dropping points in six of their last seven in the Premier League. They do, however, still carry an attacking threat that will worry their hosts on Sunday, particularly given some of thrashings City have meted out to the North London side in recent years.
We expect this to be an open and entertaining match, with a score draw the most likely outcome.
- Back the draw on the ‘match result and both teams to score’ market @ best odds of 18/5 with BetVictor.
- Aguero scored all four goals in City’s 4-1 win at the Etihad earlier this season and generally seems to enjoy himself against Spurs. He had scored in four of his previous five appearances against them prior to that match and can be fancied to again do the business on Sunday. Back Sergio Aguero to score at anytime @ evens with Ladbrokes.