Manchester City vs Tottenham | Saturday 13th February 2021, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Manchester City firmly put down a marker last week with their 4-1 demolition of current champions Liverpool.
It’s true that they were helped immeasurably by some embarrassing goalkeeping from Allison, but the Blue Moon were deserving victors. They had the greater precision and clinical edge in the final third and were seldom troubled. Now they aim to bolster their 15 game winning run as Jose Mourinho and Spurs come to town.
Spurs have some good memories against City of late with two wins and a draw in the last three meetings. That being said, you dig a little deeper into the data from those games and you’ll see just how lucky they were. They actually lost the xG 8.54-1.09 on aggregate in that trio of matches, they just got very lucky in front of goal and City had some off days in front of it themselves.
You also have to look at the mood music in both camps at the moment. City are buoyant, making no mistakes and playing with swagger and solidarity whereas Spurs have regressed to a shadow of what they were earlier in the campaign, the performance data reflects that with them now 10th for xG ratio.
Mourinho could park a couple of buses here in reaction to their diabolical defensive display against Everton in the cup midweek, it would be in his nature to do so anyway so a low scoring encounter could be on the cards.
City have won ‘to nil’ in all of their home wins this season and a repeat would not be out of the question. I’m not really a win to nil punter though, I’d much rather take a home win and Under 4.5 Goals but that’s a touch too short to put up. That’s where the beauty of the Bet Builder can come in to bump it up at a backable price and if we chuck each team to have Under 3.5 Cards into the mix it pays 19/20 with BetVictor.
City have only seen 4+ team cards once this season and the same applies to Spurs. Although we have decent ref for cards in Paul Tierney, the game state that’s likely to play out here will be Spurs sitting deep and being happy if the ball is in front of them, they won’t engage as much. Cards therefore could be thin on the ground and Tierney has reigned things in of late too.
Following on from the tactical approach expected from both sides I’ll head to the props market on Bet365 and plump for City centre half Ruben Dias to attempt Over 87.5 Passes in the game.
Dias has surpassed this line in 11/19 games where he’s played 90 minutes, however if you dig deeper you’ll see the games where he failed to were away from home. He hit 80, 77, 62, 60, 54 and 34 in away games at Spurs, Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton, Chelsea and Leeds.
It’s no surprise given those teams Guardiola will pay a lot more respect to when on the road or they’re sides that press high up against defences, something Spurs won’t do.
At the Etihad, Dias averages 94.5 passes per game and has surpassed this line in 7/9 games where he’s played the 90 minutes. Spurs rank 10th in the league for possession so expect City to monopolise the ball.