Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City: Match preview and predicted line-ups

Manchester City will head to White Hart Lane on Sunday lunchtime determined to get revenge for last season, when Spurs did the double over them for the first time since the 2009/2010 season. The Citizens 4-1 humiliation in London last September is not likely to be forgotten as City look to get back to winning ways after a midweek draw with Celtic. Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be looking to replicate that performance once again this season as they look to make it five wins in a row.

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Tottenham have enjoyed a good start to their season, winning their last four in a row after defeat to Monaco in the Champions League saw them beaten for the first, and to date only time this campaign. After a slow start, Spurs finally seem to have found their rhythm and have been superb defensively, conceding just five goals in nine games even without first choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Beating the Spurs backline will be key to victory for Pep Guardiola.

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Manchester City missed the opportunity to break a Tottenham record for the best ever start to a season as Celtic held them to a 3-3 draw in midweek which highlighted the frailty of the City defence, with John Stones amongst those singled out for criticism. Before that Champions League trip, the Citizens looked unstoppable, with ten consecutive victories all looking comfortable, including up against their city rivals Manchester United. Which Manchester City side turns up could determine how successful they will be on Sunday.

Predicted Line-Ups

Tottenham Hotspur predicted line-up                        Manchester City predicted line-up

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Spurs will have few options given their current injury situation, but are expected to field a similar side to that which saw off Monaco in midweek. That side switched between a 4-3-2-1 and 4-2-3-1 formation, with Christian Eriksen dropping deeper at times with Dele Alli playing deeper than usual due to the absence of a number of first choice midfielders. Kyle Walker is expected to return after his rest gave Kieran Trippier an opportunity.

Pep Guardiola vowed to start John Stones after dropping the England international for the trip to Celtic, which paved the way for a defensive horror show. Aleksander Kolarov is likely to return to his preferred position at left-back. In midfield, the absence of Nolito is likely to give an opportunity to Jesus Navas, with Raheem Sterling likely to feature centrally behind Sergio Aguero, although he may switch with David Silva on the left flank at times.

Suspensions and Injuries

Mauricio Pochettino will be without a number of his biggest stars despite the recent return of captain Hugo Lloris. Harry Kane is expected to be out of action for around six weeks with an ankle injury, whilst summer signing Moussa Sissoko is a doubt as he recovers from concussion. Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele both missed out on Champions League action in midweek and are unlikely to be rushed back from hamstring strains for both midfielders. Left-back Danny Rose is also suffering from a similar issue and is expected to miss out on this clash.

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Nolito, scorer at Celtic Park on Wednesday night, will miss out as he resumes his Premier League suspension for a foolish headbutt against Bournemouth, though he will return for the visit of Everton after the international break. Gael Clichy may feature after returning in midweek but Fabian Delph is expected to miss out. The two main absences for Guardiola will be those of Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany with hamstring and groin strains respectively, both of whom are hoping to be in contention for a return in time for the Everton clash.

Our Prediction

This clash is going to be a very tight one. City have the ability to score, but Tottenham defend superbly. Tottenham don’t score many, especially without Harry Kane, but City have been leaky defensively of late. It is likely to be a low scoring affair, and Pep Guardiola will not allow his defence to commit the same errors that they made in midweek against Celtic. Our prediction is a low scoring draw in a tactical battle between two of the Premier League’s most astute managers.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Juan Diego Torres.

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