Tottenham Hotspur’s recent record against Manchester City makes ugly reading. Can Spurs avoid defeat when the teams meet at White Hart Lane on Saturday? (12:45 BST, live on BT Sport1).
The North London side finished fifth last season and have made a relatively encouraging start to the new season despite being held to one too many draws in its early weeks. They are ninth in the Premier League table with nine points from two wins, three draws and one defeat.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to local rivals Arsenal in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday. Their visitors took the lead midway through the first half, but Spurs came out strong after the break, equalised through an own goal and threatened to get another before Arsenal ended their hopes with a late winner.
Spurs have looked solid so far this season. The partnership between Belgian compatriots Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, protected by the strong and industrious converted centre-back Eric Dier, has given Spurs a stronger defensive core than they had last season, when they finished the campaign with the fifth worst defensive record in the division.
They are yet to fully get going in attack but can expect to improve in this area as the likes of Heung-Min Son and Clinton Njie settle into their new surroundings, Christian Eriksen regains full fitness and Harry Kane (pictured) begins to take better advantage of his chances. Once that happens, this better-balanced Spurs look solidly placed to challenge for a top-four finish.
Pochettino will definitely be without the injured Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) for Saturday’s match, while Moussa Dembele (ankle) and Ryan Mason (knee) are doubtful.
Man City finished someway behind eventual champions Chelsea in coming home second last season, but they have made a pretty good start to the new campaign. They top the Premier League table with 15 points from five wins and one defeat.
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Manuel Pellegrini’s side made short work of Sunderland in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. He put out a strong side and was rewarded by strikes from Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling that, in addition to a Sunderland own goal, gave his side a four-goal lead at the break. They conceded late on but were comfortable 4-1 winners.
Pellegrini presumably felt that his side needed a strong result to boost confidence following successive defeats to Juventus and West Ham. While City performed at a disappointing level in the former, in the latter they created by far enough chances to level the scores or better and were unfortunate to come away with their first league defeat of the season.
Man City spent big over the summer on De Bruyne, Sterling and defender Nicolas Otamendi, and have produced some impressive performances so far. They are the only team in the league to have enjoyed a more than two-thirds share of the shots taken during their matches and are doing a good job of creating quality chances whilst limiting their opponents ability to do so.
Pellegrini will definitely be without the injured Gael Clichy (ankle) and Fabian Delph (hamstring) for the trip to London, while David Silva (calf), Eliaquim Mangala (muscle), Pablo Zabaleta (knee), Samir Nasri (knock), Vincent Kompany (calf) and Wilfried Bony (knock) are all carrying injuries that could put their participation in doubt.
Our Tottenham vs Man City Preview’s Betting Tips
City won 1-0 in last season’s equivalent fixture and have a very strong record against Spurs over the last five years. City had won the three previous meetings by scores of 4-1, 5-1 and 6-0 and have emerged victorious from eight of the last 10 league matches between the sides. Man City have won three, to Tottenham’s two, of the last six at White Hart Lane.
Spurs lost to City’s local rivals Manchester United on the opening day of the season but it was a close match and they have shown enough in subsequent fixtures to suggest they should be capable of giving City a good game on Saturday. Their recent record against the Citizens is ugly but if they can stay tight in defence a good result is possible.
City have looked good at both ends of the pitch in the early weeks of the new season, with their defeat at home to Juventus representing their only real under-par performance so far. They will look to their quick and skilful forward line to break down a relatively solid-looking Spurs defence, and will fancy their chances of coming away with a positive result.
This JustBookies’ match preview believes a score draw is the most likely outcome and that if there is a winner, the margin of victory is unlikely to be significant. With that in mind here are our betting tips: