Tottenham at Manchester City, 7th travel to play 9th is not how either club would have expected this game to be billed and for both it is a must win game to narrow the gap on those teams at the top of the Premier League.
Date: Sunday, 24th November
Kick-off Time: 1.30 pm (UK time)
TV Channel: SkySport
Last November Spurs had the lead at the interval against City at the Etihad Stadium. Andre Villas-Boas had surprised everyone with the selection of Emmanuel Adebayor in his starting eleven. For the first half he troubled the defence of his former club as Steven Caulker put Spurs ahead with a header from a free kick. In the second half after some re-organisation, City gradually took control to equalise through Aguero after 65 minutes and then Dzeko scored the winner with two minutes to play.
Spurs PL Record at City:
Spurs have won 9 Premier League games at City, more than any other club. They have lost the last three games but prior to that the visit to this part of Manchester had proved very productive.
P 16 W 9 D 2 L 5 For 22 Ag 18
Related Article: Spurs Record at City – Read more
Spurs Can Win:
Spurs can win against City but their chances of a positive result are made more difficult when City’s home record is taken into account. City have won all 5 League games at home this season, scoring 20 goals while conceding only 2. They have also scored 5 in defeating Wigan in the League Cup and in their Champions League win over CSKA Moscow. Including that result over CSKA, they have scored 12 goals in their last two home matches after a 7 – 0 success over Norwich City. City’s only reverse at home this season was losing 3 – 1 to Bayern Munich.
Spurs have a team of experienced players who know what to expect and what’s needed in a match like this. For once they’ll not be facing a team intent of ten-man defence so there will be more space for the Spurs midfield players to use and create chances for Roberto Soldado who has suffered with a lack of service in the opening months of the season. The power and strength of Spurs central midfielders should enable them to match City and as AVB sets up his team to counter-attack, this will be an ideal situation to use the pace of Andros Townsend and possibly Aaron Lennon to good advantage.
City could have Joe Hart back in goal after his performance for England against Germany on Tuesday evening. They are missing three players due to injury Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Stevan Jovetic but still have an array of players to choose from.
Their leading goalscorers in all competitions are Aguero with 13 goals, Negredo on 9 and Yaya Touré on 7. Spurs also need to be wary of Nasri who has a habit of scoring against us for both Arsenal and City.
AVB will have to make at least two change to the team which lost at home to Newcastle. Hugo Lloris will return in goal for Brad Friedel and the injury to Christian Eriksen while playing for Denmark will keep him out for a number of weeks. Danny Rose has not recovered so Jan Vertonghen will continue at left back. Vlad Chiriches played for Romania wearing a face mask to protect his broken nose and could play against City. Nacer Chadli is also available after injury.Lewis Holtby, Erik Lamela, Mousa Dembele and Paulinho are a number of players two could play the attacking midfield role vacated by Eriksen. Lamela could get his first Premier League start but otherwise the team will probably be along the usual lines with AVB reluctant to make any changes which would disturb what has been a very tight defensive set up with only one goal conceded in their away games. He has hinted at the possible use of Adebayor for the first time this season but if the striker is to play it is more likely to be off the bench as a late substitute.
Earlier in the week Sandro made it clear what was needed against City – a win and he’ll battle to achieve that so with similar commitment from the rest of the team Spurs can get a positive result against the odds.
Remember the ‘Spirit of Old Trafford’ last season – who expected Spurs to win that day. It’s much the same at the Etihad Stadium today so go for it, Spurs.