The Tottenham and Manchester City Players who will decide the Cup

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Tottenham Hotspur November 21, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Tottenham Hotspur November 21, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images) /

With Jose Mourinho out of the picture, the focus can truly be on the players on the pitch, rather than the match-up between two all-time coaches. Instead of facing his longtime rival, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will take on the unknown in facing Ryan Mason’s Tottenham Hotspur.

Regardless of coaches, however, these teams have played each other enough over the last several years to know this match-up will be decided on the pitch, not on the sidelines. Here are the players and match-ups to watch which will determine who wins the Cup Sunday afternoon at Wembley, when Tottenham faces Manchester City for the fourth time in the League Cup competition. 

City Right Back vs Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilón

Whether Pep Guardiola goes with former Tottenham defender Kyle Walker or with Brazilian Joao Cancelo, City is going from strength to strength. Both the support and push on the offensive end as well as the cover and recovery both Cancelo and Walker can provide on the defensive end, help makes City’s system truly dynamic.

Walker and Cancelo are not bombing up the sideline non-stop but they are each doing it enough to keep most left-backs pinned in and to provide that support to maintain possession. Fortunately for Tottenham, Sergio Reguilón is not your average left-back.

Sergio Reguilón is very much like a young Kyle Walker where he has a nose for the football and likes to get forward. Reguilón has six assists this season, which is a testament to how much service he has provided for the team. If Sergio Reguilón can help keep whoever is manning the right-back position for City on their half of the field it will help alleviate some of the pressure Tottenham is sure to be under.

Who wins the midfield battle?

Now that Mourinho is gone Tottenham is more likely to stand up and try to take on Manchester City toe-to-toe. However, the reality is it is more likely than not that Tottenham is the team on the back foot looking to thwart the City attack. For Tottenham to win this game, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and his partner are going to have to get the better of the City attacking midfield.

Most of the time Tottenham plays with two holding midfielders which works great for Manchester City who likes to play with two attacking midfielders. If everyone was healthy and they did not have another match in three days, Tottenham would be facing Kevin De Bruyne and İlkay Gündoğan.

However, De Bruyne is recovering from injury and İlkay Gündoğan has been ridden really hard this season. This means Pep might have to resort to starting Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden. That is not exactly a let-off for Tottenham which is why Højbjerg is going to be so important in the match.

Manchester City dedicates three players to attack, to begin with, then when they get two more in from the midfield it can be tough to stop. To avoid the Spurs’ defense being overwhelmed in the box, Højbjerg will have to work hard to keep the Cityzens in front of him.

If Gareth Bale really still has “it” Sunday will show it

Gareth Bale was brought back to Tottenham as part PR and part football. The PR piece of the prodigal son returning was a good story and brought a lot of positive attention to the club. However, while Bale has still scored a few really outstanding goals he has been wildly inconsistent.

Regardless of the inconsistencies, Bale was brought back to shine in the big moments and bring the winning attitude Spurs needed. Sunday is as big of a moment as Tottenham will have all season and it seems like the occasion Bale was really brought back for.  Spurs and Real Madrid are not playing Gareth Bale an obscene amount of money to score midweek against Southampton – although it sure did help.

Rather Bale is receiving a big check and was brought back with silverware in mind. Sunday is the biggest chance yet to demonstrate that the move was the right one and bring some real joy to the Tottenham fans all over the world. Gareth Bale does not need to hit an all-time bicycle, but Tottenham does need him to contribute and I know I am looking forward to seeing it.

light. Related Story. Tottenham vs Manchester City in League Cup history.