WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) on call to preview what could be the game of the season so far. Spurs host Man City in a fixture that they won convincingly by a 4-1 scoreline last season; can they repeat the feat?
Spurs v Manchester City | Sunday 14:15 | Sky Sports 1
This could be the game of the season.
Man City look unbelievable going forward but the defence continues to creak. Three conceded at Celtic Park was not good enough for one of the richest clubs in the world.
Aleksandar Kolarov is brilliant going forward and usually such a reliable performer but he made a mistake in the build-up to Moussa Dembele’s incredible overhead kick. Playing out of position at centre-back was hardly ideal, however.
The whole defence got caught out for Raheem Sterling’s own goal/Kieran Tierney’s hard work. I really rate Fernandinho but it has to be said that Fernando is much better than him at breaking up the opposition’s play. Without him and a proper centre-back partnership they looked vulnerable on the counter.
Nolito misses out through suspension and the continued absence of Vincent Kompany and now Kevin de Bruyne on the sidelines for a few weeks too means that City are by no means bankers.
The Citizens have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last five away games and I don’t think that’s about to change anytime soon with Nicolas Otamendi, who still doesn’t look totally comfortable in the Premier League, the only natural centre-half.
Man City have scored two or more goals in 11 of their 12 games under Pep though and I expect them to achieve that at White Hart Lane.
On the other hand, Tottenham have the Premier League’s toughest defence at the moment with just three conceded in six matches and they also had the best last season with 35 conceded in 38 games.
Eric Dier could miss out again but Victor Wanyama is more than adequate cover at defensive midfield. Elsewhere, Harry Kane is out for a few more weeks yet with an ankle ligament injury but Son Heung-Min has taken over the goalscoring responsibility just fine.
Son has scored five in his last five appearances and is 23/10 to score anytime with Betfair. That really has to be backed.
The worrying news for Spurs fans this week though is that Son may be forced into military service in the South Korean Army.
Spurs did the double over City last season; winning 2-1 at Etihad and 4-1 at home. City under Pep Guardiola look a different kettle of fish though and after the disappointing result at Celtic Park, drawing when 1/3 to win, you’d expect Pep to have been meticulous in training to iron out these errors.
Spurs 1-1 draw against Liverpool in late August now looks more than respectable with Klopp’s men playing some scintillating football at the moment. Aside from that game though I don’t think they’ve really been tested – wins have come against Boro, Sunderland, Stoke and Palace – all teams I see finishing mid-table or lower.
I think the safest bet here is goals. Over 3.5 is 9/5 with BetVictor and that makes plenty of appeal. Seven of the last 10 meetings have had four or more goals and Peps’ games have seen a total of 42 goals in the last 11; an average of 3.8 goals a game.
The match result is pretty hard to call, City are on the drift out to 6/4 at the time of writing and that would be my bet if you forced my hand but I’m not prepared to back it when Spurs lost just three of 19 at the Lane last season and do look superior than the visitors defensively.