There’s little doubt that the encounter between Tottenham and Manchester City is the most anticipated match of the weekend in the English Premier League. The Spurs will host the reigning champions on Sunday.
In this post, I will closely analyze both teams and share my betting prediction for the big game.
The Spurs were mediocre under Pochettino this season and the arrival of Jose Mourinho didn’t change much. The team still struggles all over the pitch and the manager has to cope with the injury of Harry Kane.
The talismanic skipper will out for several months and Tottenham’s squad doesn’t include a player that could directly replace him. That’s the reason why the Spurs have been linked with Olivier Giroud and other strikers in the January transfer window.
And yet, at the time I’m writing this preview, the team has no recognized target man.
I believe that won’t be a big deal against Manchester City, though, as I expect Jose to apply a conservative system similar to the one against Liverpool.
The Spurs will defend in numbers and give Man City the ball. The main strategy would be to deny space and hit the opponent on the counter.
There is a good reason to believe that Tottenham has a chance, mostly because City has been shaky at the back this season.
The defensive issues of Manchester City I already mentioned are obvious. Laporte’s injury early in the campaign and Guardiola’s refusal to replace Vincent Company create a mess at the heart of the defense.
The manager didn’t buy a new centre-back in January either, so I’m not sure that Manchester City will improve in this area in the second part of the season.
The lack of stability at the back is affecting the forwards too. The second tie against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup this week was a good example.
City was dominant in the first half an hour, but then conceded out of the blue. That changed the flow of the game and the side never managed to regain control of the match.
The fear of a second goal was the main reason, in my opinion. The attacking players don’t feel confident in their colleagues at the back and this is hurting Manchester City.
If the Spurs score first on Sunday, that could hurt the confidence of Guardiola and his men.
You would expect Manchester City to win this one, but the odds are laughable right now and there’s no point in backing the visitors at a price like 8/15 or so that most bookmakers offer.
Instead, I see value in the odds for Tottenham to take something in this game. You can get 11/8 or even better in many places, so that’s my final pick.
Pick: Double Chance Tottenham or Draw