WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews another mouthwatering tie from Etihad on Saturday evening. Spurs have the form and recent head-to-head record to get the better of City but can they pull it off?
Manchester City v Tottenham | Saturday 17:30 | BT Sport 1
Last weekend saw yet another emphatic win for Tottenham, this time at home to West Brom. The hosts ran out 4-0 winners against a side that has been their bogey team over the last few seasons. Spurs now travel to the Etihad to face a Manchester City team that’s far from settled.
Pep Guardiola’s Citizens recorded a disgraceful result at Goodison Park. The 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Toffees may have flattered the hosts somewhat, Everton scored with every shot that they had on-target, but it’s still the Spaniard’s worst career result in domestic competition as a manager.
Unfortunately, for Man City, the fixture list hasn’t been merciful. They now have a tie against Tottenham whom beat them comfortably 2-0 in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane in October, and did the double over the Mancunians last season.
The Citizens have struggled to take their chances on too many occasions of late. Against Spurs, they’ve had the lion’s share of possession in all of the previous three meetings and lost all of them.
Furthermore, as mentioned in my preview of their clash with Everton last weekend, aside from overcoming Arsenal who gifted them the win in the second half at Etihad last month, City haven’t passed any significant tests of late.
In their last 11 Premier League games they have lost to Everton, Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea, all convincingly and only beaten Burnley (twice), Hull, Watford and Crystal Palace; all bottom half sides.
Youth got the better of the Blue Moon last Sunday with Ademola Lookman and Tom Davies both netting and worryingly for the hosts, Spurs have by far the best youngsters in the country.
The absence of talisman Harry Kane in their November showdown proved not to be a hurdle but his presence here, off the back of hat-trick, will only do their chances of a result even more favours.
It’s now seven wins on the bounce for Mauricio Pochettino’s players. Sitting second in the league with, at present, the best defensive record for the second year running proves that last season was not a fluke and another title challenge is a genuinely possibility.
When looking at the bigger picture for this tie, analysing the mentality of both squads at present and the pressure on the favourites to perform after some woeful displays there can be only one clear value selection.
City have put on some absolutely dire defensive shows of late. The catalogue of errors from John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, supported by wing-backs with little to no defensive nous and a goalkeeper famed for his outfield abilities have been there for all to see.
What makes this really shocking is the fact that your average football fan could have flagged warning signs for the aforementioned at the end of the last transfer window. It didn’t take a genius to spot the potential pitfalls.
Tottenham are an aggressive side that like to get forward and this Man City defence is lacking in confidence in a big way, consequently, the North Londoners to win with the insurance of the draw seems a brilliant price to me at 29/17 with BetVictor on the +0.0 Asian Handicap line; essentially the same as a wager on Spurs in the Draw No Bet market.
Manchester City v Tottenham – Tottenham +0.0 Asian Handicap (28/17 BetVictor)