Manchester City look to keep their unbeaten Premier League record intact in a fixture over sixth placed Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium. Andre Villas-Boas’ men had European success in midweek and will look to upset City’s home form.
City have had a rough week with their 0-0 draw away at West Ham United last Saturday followed by a disappointing home draw against Ajax in the Champions League. With the Premier League champions on the verge of group stage elimination for the second successive season, there are rumbles of discontent in the blue half of Manchester. Roberto Mancini needs a lift and it could be provided by City playmaker David Silva.
The Spanish international may make his return from a hamstring injury that has kept him out for the past month and Mancini could also welcome back summer signing Maicon, as well as England international Joleon Lescott. City are still without English trio Micah Richards, James Milner and Jack Rodwell.
Spurs travel to the Etihad Stadium looking to become the first team to beat City on their home ground since December 2010. The North Londoners ran City close last season before Mario Balotelli’s injury-time penalty ended any hopes of the Premier League title making an unlikely trip to White Hart Lane. Under Villas-Boas, there has been a turbulent time for Spurs fans and defeat at home to Wigan last weekend saw the natives boo off their players.
Villas-Boas is still without Mousa Dembele, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but Brazilian international Sandro may return. Despite Hugo Lloris starting in goal during Thursday’s 3-1 home win over Maribor in the Europa League, Brad Friedel is expected to return between the sticks.
A clean sheet and a victory for City will be the perfect tonic from a difficult week, but Spurs always pose a threat going forward and with Jermain Defoe in red-hot form after Thursday’s hat-trick, City’s back four will have to be on top form. Spurs can win away at the Etihad Stadium, but they will have to be in top gear and hope that City’s dazzling talent going forward have an off-day.