While it is a bit early in the season to get giddy about title talk, Tottenham Hotspur can make their intentions known, by beating Manchester City Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur have started the Premier League season well. After eight games Spurs started matchday 9 in second place on 17 points from those 8 games. With more Premiere League games in next six weeks than Tottenham have played so far in nearly 3 months a win versus Manchester City to start this busy run can really help establish Tottenham’s intent to be part of the title race.
Tottenham Trouble with City
All time, Tottenham have a slight edge on Manchester City, in 97 matches Tottenham have won 39 to 38 wins for Manchester City, against 20 draws. In the last decade, the balance of power between the two teams has shifted bringing the record close to even. Tottenham dominated Manchester City back in the 2000s, however, since 2011, things have gone in City’s direction. In 21 games since 2011, Manchester City have won 13 and Spurs have only won six.
From 2011 – 2015 City and Spurs face each other nine times and City won 8 of those games. Those eight losses for Spurs were terrible defeats and included two 4-1 losses and one 5-0 loss to City. Things started to change in the series in the 2015-16 season as Mauricio Pochettino took over Spurs. After losing the previous four matches by 14 goals, Pochettino stopped the bleeding as Spurs won the first of three straight 4-1 over City.
Just as Tottenham were getting on top again having won three straight matches over City from 2015 through 2016 City brought Pep Guardiola in to run the club the advantage again slipped back toward the Sky Blues. Spurs have now face City 10 times under Guardiola, and have 3 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses in those 10 games. However, Tottenham won in their only meeting with City under Jose Mourinho and now Spurs are looking to make it two from two.
Tottenham Part of the Title Discussion
If you listen to Jose Mourinho, you know is far too early to be thinking seriously about winning the Premier League title, however, it is not too early to lose it. While Tottenham will not necessarily be at the top of the table at the end of the weekend with a win, we know exactly where they will go with a loss, which is down.
More than ½ of the league are within six points of the lead, so just one loss can send a team tumbling several places down the table. Add in that two of the top six have a game in hand and you start to realize just how jumbled up the competition is at this stage of the competition. A win here puts Spurs a true six points up on City and nine on paper with that game in hand.
For some reason people seem to think City are down now, but like Spurs they have only lost one game in the league and that was to current leaders Leicester City. That loss came only after the Foxes received 3 penalty kicks in the game. Outside of that match City has yet to give up more than one goal in a match and have two League shutouts and five in all competitions. Whether Aguero and Sterling are 100% of not, City have a ton of talent and clearly a top-class coach.
After a “break” to hypothetically get their teams together, we should see a classic today, as Mourinho and Guardiola both look to get one over on their old rival. For City, it is an opportunity to show they are the same dangerous, title contenders they have been for the last decade. For Spurs, it is an opportunity to show that this is a new decade, and the balance of power goes through London not Manchester. We expect a close match at HotspurHQ, but Spurs win 4-2 in another classic.