Tottenham starting XI prediction vs Manchester City

Spurs are set to take on one of the toughest opponents they'll encounter this season, however the starting XI may look similar to last week's if what Ange Postecoglou says is true.
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages

After a disappointing loss to Aston Villa and the addition of Rodrigo Bentancur and Pape Sarr to the long-term injury list, Ange will be in an even tougher position with his squad selection moving forward. However, changes to the starting XI for the upcoming match may only take place in Spurs' midfield.

A tactical purist, Ange will likely continue to play his brand of attacking football and therefore select the players that will best accommodate such a style of play, even when going against a side as dangerous as City and their front line. Here are the predictions for this week's clash:

Formation – (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper – Guglielmo Vicario

Week in and week out, Vicario has continued to prove why he deserves to play in the Premier League. His reliability in goal has been phenomenal, and in the era of ball-playing keepers he's shone through as one of the most adept.

There's no doubt that the attacking prowess of City's Jeremy Doku, Julian Alvarez, and reigning golden-boot winner and league-leading scorer Erling Haaland will give Vicario some trouble, but he's by far the best choice in between the sticks.

Right-back – Pedro Porro

The favorite this season, Porro will surely get the nod from Ange to hold down the right flank.

Emerson Royal can also slot into the position as a late-game sub, as he has done in the past, but he's better known for his ball-playing ability which, while useful against a team like City, garners a higher risk than reward. Defensive awareness will surely be prioritized and because of that Porro is the ideal choice for fullback.

Center-back – Eric Dier & Ben Davies

Perhaps the hardest position to predict given the recent injuries and suspensions to regulars Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven, the central defenders will be a tough choice for Ange.

In the first game without the normal starters, it was these two who held the backline for 90 minutes until two late goals arrived in stoppage time. For Spurs' second game with Romero and VDV out, it was Emerson Royal and Davies who slotted in, a fixture which also ended in a 2-1 loss.

Davies will surely be getting the start, as he's performed more reliably in the position than Dier and Emerson, and his combination of speed and strength give him the versatility to handle a wider variety of attacking players.

Dier and Emerson, however, are two distinct players, with two very different skills and assets. Dier may be the more logical decision for matchday given his defensive awareness and size comparable to that of Erling Haaland. Emerson, while skillful on the ball and quick to recover, is more likely to get caught out of position.

With the speed of City's ball movement in the midfield and ability to play through the lines, it may make more sense to have a center-back who knows how to intercept passes, shield the ball, and win aerial battles. Dier fits this profile far better than Emerson, and therefore may make more sense as a starter.

Left-back – Destiny Udogie

A defender who can do it all, Udogie is the perfect fullback for Ange-Ball.

Although his squads are often volatile to change, Pep's favorite for right-wing has been Phil Foden over the past few weeks. Udogie will have to hold the space behind Ange's high line amidst the danger of Foden's quick movement and the many overlapping runs Kyle Walker is sure to make.

Midfield – Yves Bissouma, Giovani Lo Celso, & Dejan Kulusevski

Back from his one-match suspension, Yves Bissouma will be looking to help defend space in the midfield against City's notoriously possession-based tactics. He seems the obvious choice for holding-midfielder.

After an incredible start against Villa seeing him net his first goal in a Spurs shirt in years, Lo Celso would be the next option for the midfield three. His high work-rate will be needed more than ever, with Ange's high-pressing instructions bound to tire out the central players, especially when going against a team that knows how to absorb pressure. Gio's creativity and recovery pace will be crucial assets as well.

In the past, Spurs fans would likely see Hojbjerg getting more starts, however, under Ange Postecoglou the story has been quite different. After a rough showing last match, coming on to replace the injured Rodrigo Bentancur, it's unlikely the Dane will get the nod against City.

Rounding out the center of the pitch is Dejan Kulusevski, a player who has dominated on the right-wing but can also slot into the 10-role when needed. He proved his aptitude for the position after a stellar performance last weekend, seeing him nearly find the back of the net in the opening minutes of the game. Deki will be crucial for Spurs this match, especially when it comes to assisting Sonny in leading the press.

Right-wing – Brennan Johnson

With limited options in the wing areas, Johnson should be filling in for Kulu at right-wing. He's played well in his first couple of starts for the Lilywhites, however he still seems to be missing some composure in the final third. If he can be more clinical in dangerous areas and find ways to link up with Sonny, the Welshman could be a difference-maker.

Left-wing – Bryan Gil

Although he's rarely appeared this season, Bryan Gil played quite well last match, in which he got his first start in months. Going up against Kyle Walker, it suffices to say that he Gil won't be winning any foot-races. However, with his technical ability and quick movement, he could find himself in dangerous positions when making diagonal runs, interchanging with Sonny, and cutting into the midfield. Composure in transition play is something the Spaniard can surely bring to the squad.

Striker – Heung-min Son

It goes without saying, but team captain Heung-min Son is Spurs' biggest attacking threat at the moment. Although he hasn't scored in recent weeks, Sonny has a way of finding the back of the net when facing City. While he brings a lot with his pressing ability and stamina, the team will need him most when he finds himself into scoring opportunities. Every goal will matter this match, and Son will surely be looking to take advantage of the chances he gets.