Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City: Preview and Prediction

Tottenham find themselves in a ‘catch-22’ situation ahead of a pivotal and potentially season-defining game against Manchester City.

Tottenham ended their dreadful run of four defeats with a win over Burnley at the weekend, which sent Vincent Kompany’s men back to the Championship, and up next are Manchester City. The discussions in the build-up to this clash have been whether Spurs should go for a win that will give Arsenal the upper hand in the title chase and their race for the top four a boost in the right conditions or lose.

Such a catch-22 situation has Spurs fans torn with a decision on whether to win or lose on Tuesday. But knowing Ange Postecoglou, there will be no second thought on what he wants from his team, as he will be hoping Liverpool win their game against Aston Villa to keep Tottenham alive in the top-four race heading into the last game of the season.

Tottenham are four points behind Aston Villa, and should Unai Emery’s side lose to Liverpool and Spurs manage something in the game against Manchester City, the race for a top-four place could go down to the wire. A win for Aston Villa will all but end any hopes of playing in the Champions League next season, meaning the game against Pep Guardiola’s side might not have any significance.

Manchester City took a giant step in the Premier League title race with a smashing 4-0 win over Fulham in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. Josko Gvardiol got a rare brace, with a goal from Phil Foden and a late penalty from Julian Alvarez helping them take three points and also close the goal difference gap on Arsenal.

Now it is a straightforward task for Manchester City in the title race, as they must win both their remaining games to lift their fourth straight Premier League title. Standing in their way are Tottenham, and the reigning champions have been uncharacteristically bad at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Surprisingly, Guardiola’s side has never managed to score a Premier League goal here, let alone take a win at this venue, which does give Arsenal some hope heading into the final matchday. A win will put Manchester City in the driving seat, although a draw or defeat will complicate matters beyond their control, to probably hand the Gunners a big shot at their first Premier League title in over 20 years.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Ange Postecoglou’s injury issues were compounded by the absence of Richarlison from the Burnley game. The forward was omitted from the Brazilian squad for the Copa America, which the national team manager confirmed was due to a fresh calf issue, which indicates he will undoubtedly miss a few months and, with that, the final two games of the campaign.

Richarlison joins Destiny Udogie, Timo Werner, Manor Solomon, Ryan Sessegnon, Fraser Forster, and Ben Davies in the treatment room. Postecoglou must also make a quick decision on his starting backline, with Oliver Skipp also proving he is not the right fit to start in that vacant left-back role. Meanwhile, Yves Bissouma will also miss the remaining two games with a knee problem, with Rodrigo Bentancur likely to replace him.

Incidentally, there are doubts whether he will go ahead with reinstating Emerson Royal into that role after a couple of disastrous performances from the Brazilian. Hence, there is a chance to use Micky van de Ven there and hand a start to Radu Dragusin in the central role, with the Romanian also replacing Skipp during the Burnley win.

With Werner absent, Postecoglou could use a familiar front four against Manchester City, with Brennan Johnson operating on the left-hand side. Dejan Kulusevski, whose last Premier League goal came at the Etihad earlier in the season, will start on the right, with James Maddison and Son Heung-min completing the frontline, with the South Korean leading the line for Spurs.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Vicario; Porro, Romero, Dragusin, Van de Ven; Sarr, Bentancur; Kulusevski, Maddison, Johnson; Son

Manchester City

Nathan Ake limped off against Fulham with a quarter of the game gone, and there remains a significant doubt about the visit to North London. Pep Guardiola could use a similar backline after the Dutchman’s injury, with Kyle Walker coming into the setup and Manuel Akanji moving into a central role alongside Ruben Dias. At the same time, Gvardiol will certainly keep his place at left-back.

Similarly, Guardiola might retain his midfield paring of Mateo Kovacic and Rodri. At the same time, he may have a decision to make on Jeremy Doku’s inclusion, given that the Spurs’ left side is a bit weaker. However, Bernardo Silva had a fabulous game on the right wing against Fulham, meaning the Portuguese midfielder might keep his place.

Therefore, Foden will start on the right, with Jack Grealish still having significant doubts about an illness suffered before Saturday. Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne will complete the attacking setup for Manchester City against Tottenham, with the former angling to get well ahead in the race for the Golden Boot.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Silva, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland

Key Stats

  • Tottenham are unbeaten in four games against Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
  • Tottenham have lost four of their last five Premier League games.
  • Tottenham have rescued 25 points from losing positions this season, with only Liverpool ahead of their tally with 28 points.
  • Manchester City have won their last seven matches in the Premier League.
  • Manchester City has never won at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, neither have they scored a Premier League goal here under Pep Guardiola’s reign.

Player to Watch

Kevin De Bruyne

Embed from Getty Images

After missing more than half the current season, De Bruyne has played a crucial role in Manchester City’s season since turning up fit. He and his Manchester City side will enter probably their most important game of the domestic season with the visit to North London to take on Tottenham.

Pep Guardiola would need his top man on his task and with a big performance under his belt when Man City take the pitch against Tottenham. It’s a must-win game here, as a defeat or dropped points will hand the impetus to Arsenal in the title race, something a player like De Bruyne must not allow to happen.


Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Manchester City

It is very unusual to find a team like Manchester City, who have been smashing all other teams under Pep Guardiola over the years, somehow struggling for relevance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They did end the hoodoo of not scoring here with a goal in this season’s FA Cup, and Guardiola will want a repeat of that performance again in this crucial Premier League tie.

Tottenham can take pride in their formidable record of not conceding against Manchester City at this venue in the Premier League. But they might have to see the end of that run on Tuesday. While Ange Postecoglou is expected to make amends to his defence to keep it tight at the back, they might not be able to stop Manchester City during their incredible run in this title race.

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