Match preview: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs will hope they can replicate their fine away form in Manchester this weekend. After a historic victory at Old Trafford a few weeks ago Spurs take on reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday.

 

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur

Date: Sunday, 11 November 2012
Kick-off: 13:30 GMT
Stadium: The Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: Michael Oliver

Spurs will be looking to bounce back after a shock home defeat against Wigan the other week. After a solid mid-week performance against NK Maribor, Spurs will face an opponent of a whole different calibre though.

André Villas-Boas will be pointing towards Spurs’ spectacular victory at Old Trafford earlier on in the season to motivate his squad. Although Spurs’ home form in the league has been pretty poor (W2, D2, L2) they only lost once on the road so far, a 2-1 loss at St James’ Park on the opening day of the season.

Despite some rusty performances and a terrible Champions League campaign Manchester City are still undefeated in the league this season. Roberto Mancini’s men saw their chances of advancing to the knock-out stages of the Champions League all but evaporate after they struggled against an organized and determined Ajax side on Tuesday.

City were unable to break down a dogged West Ham side last week. It remained 0-0 at Upton Park. It was their first draw after 4 consecutive wins in the Premier League. No surprise, this draw came after they lost 3-1 away at Ajax in the Champions League. City’s home form has been excellent though, they are undefeated whilst winning 4 of their 5 home games.

Team news

Spurs

Spurs will be without midfielder Moussa Dembélé. He is still struggling with a hip injury. Tottenham’s medical staff ruled against surgery and have decided rest is the best remedy to Dembélé’s injury. Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul are all still out due to injury. Sandro is a doubt after picking up a calf strain against Wigan.

Manchester City

Micah Richards, James Milner and Jack Rodwell are sidelined for Sunday’s match due to inury. However, City could be boosted by the likely return of David Silva. The Spanish international has been out for a month with a hamstring injury. Joleon Lescott and Maicon are back in training and could be in contention, although it’s doubtful Mancini will be keen on a Bale v Maicon rematch.

Head-to-head

  • Tottenham and Manchester City have faced each other 30 times since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.
  • Spurs have won 19 , drawn 5 and lost 6 of these league encounters.
  • Spurs were the victim of a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of City last season. Spurs also lost the away fixture (3-2) after conceding an injury time penalty.
  • City have won the last 3 Premier League clashes with Spurs.
  • The last time Spurs won at The Etihad they qualified for the Champions League courtesy of a Peter Crouch header.

KickOff Stats

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Run-in

  • Manchester City have won 90% of their last 20 home games.
  • Spurs have won 40% of their last 20 away games,
  • Manchester City failed to keep a clean sheet in 50% of their last 20 home games.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur run-in

Goals

  • Tottenham have scored in each of their last 6 away games.
  • City have scored 3 goals in 60% of their last 20 home games.
  • Spurs have failed to keep a clean sheet in 20% of their last 20 away games.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur goals

Scoreline

  • Man City haven’t failed to score in 37 consecutive home games.
  • Spurs will probably need 3 goals or more to win.
  • The last goalless draw at The Etihad was in November 2010.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur probability full-time result

First goalscorer

  • Man City have opened the scoring in 18 of their last 20 home games.
  • In Spurs’ last 20 away games 50% of the goals have been scored by midfielders.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 35% of Man City’s first goals in the last 20 home games.
  • Jermain Defoe has scored more goals after coming off the bench than any other player in the Premier League.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur probability first goalscorer

Total Tottenham prediction

This will be a tough fixture. City don’t feel compelled to take the initiative at home and are comfortable to wait for the opponent to come at them, hoping they will leave space for City to counter-attack. This has proven to be a successful tactic against most Premier League sides. However, this week Ajax showed that a team that fills up the midfield with bodies and squeezes the pitch can nullify City’s counter-attacking prowess.

If Spurs manage to successfully deploy a high defensive line and keep the playing areas tight I think we could get a result. Manchester City are not known to play a terribly high line, the central pairing like to sit deep while the full-backs enjoy some freedom to attack. This will provide Spurs with opportunities to hit them on the counter-attack, especially with our wingers looking to exploit any space in behind City’s full-backs when City lose possession in midfield.

One thing Spurs should definitely be looking to capitalise on is City’s poor defending during corner-kicks. They conceded twice from a corner-kick against Ajax on Tuesday, both times they left both the far and near post unguarded. Spurs won’t trouble Joe Hart by long range efforts, but he seems pretty vulnerable during corner-kicks though.

Spurs should look to press City’s defensive midfielders early on. Especially Gareth Barry is slow in his build-up play and therefore can be easily pick-pocketed deep in City’s half. This will cut off the supply to Yaya Touré (arguably City’s best player) and whoever fills up the wide positions. City’s biggest threat will be the link-up play between Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero.

Final score: 1-1

A 1-1 draw will definitely be considered a result given the long list of injuries AVB has to deal with, most notably causing a lack of creativity in deep midfield. City will probably open the scoring early on in the second half after a goalless first half. Spurs to equalise through a set play.

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Dutch Spurs fan, football connoisseur and ambassador of free-flowing attacking football.

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One comment on “Match preview: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
  1. Kevin says:

    great piece stephan!