Nine months after Tottenham’s fiery 2-0 win over Manchester City, courtesy of second-half strikes from Heung-Min Son and January signing Steven Bergwijn, the pair clash in north London once again this weekend. It’s still early days in this Premier League campaign, but will it be repeat, revenge or a frustrating draw between two title contenders with a point to prove?
Tottenham vs Manchester City: jose vs pep returns once more
Kick-off – 5.30pm
Despite relinquishing leads against Newcastle and West Ham, and a forgettable Europa League defeat away at Antwerp last month, Tottenham sit second in the Premier League.
Manchester City, whose title defence last season ended with a whimper, are five points adrift – with a game in hand – and must pick up the pace ahead of a brutal festive schedule. After drawing with champions Liverpool before the break, can they return to winning ways here?
Kevin de Bruyne’s missed penalty saw the points were shared in an underwhelming 1-1 draw against Liverpool, but City were truly their own worst enemy.
Having cruised to a 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiacos, Kyle Walker’s error-prone defensive tendencies returned as he conceded a needless spot-kick early on Sadio Mane.
Mohamed Salah gladly converted and despite Gabriel Jesus’ leveller before half-time, de Bruyne’s miss could prove costly in the long-run. They can’t afford to keep dropping points.
Guardiola will hope Ferran Torres continues his inspired form, after netting a hat-trick in Spain’s 6-0 Nations League thrashing against Germany in midweek. Injuries across the division have increased so far this term and as such, there will be notable absences for both this weekend.
Tanguy Ndombele (foot), Erik Lamela (muscle) and Steven Bergwijn (overload) are all doubts, while summer signing Matt Doherty contracted COVID-19 on international duty so won’t feature.
Raheem Sterling (thigh) is among the Citizens’ injury doubts, having missed England’s three recent internationals as a precautionary measure with a knock.
Benjamin Mendy, Sergio Aguero (both muscle), Fernandinho (leg) are listed as doubtful too, while Guardiola was frustrated as versatile defender and £40m summer signing Nathan Ake will be sidelined until December, having sustained an injury on duty with the Netherlands.
Possible line-ups and final thoughts
The beauty of this fixture is centred around the two sides’ unpredictability: a convincing win for either wouldn’t be surprising, nor would a drab draw after all the pre-match build-up.
City are unbeaten in nine, Tottenham won 2-0 in the reverse fixture last season and this will be billed as Jose vs Pep again. The Catalan leads their H2H (W11, D6, L6) – will there be a victor?
Tottenham: Lloris; Reguilon, Dier, Alderweireld, Aurier; Lo Celso, Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Son, Kane, Moura.
Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo, Laporte, Dias, Walker; de Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Sterling, Jesus, Torres.
Picture source: Getty