Competition: Premier League – Manchester City FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC
Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, January 21 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Man City 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Spurs 13/5
Manchester City welcome Spurs to the Etihad on Saturday evening in what is the biggest game of the weekend in the Premier League.
All eyes will be on Pep Guardiola and his City team after their embarrassing 4-0 loss at Everton last Sunday. The Spanish coach has never lost six league games in one season, but he is one defeat away from doing so and knows this is a real test.
Manchester City have proven they can perform incredibly well, but have also proven to be as vulnerable as anyone else at the back. That cost them again last weekend and they will be wary of facing the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who are in fine goalscoring form with Spurs.
City come into the weekend in fifth place, three points behind second-placed Tottenham so this is a real six-pointer at the top of the table. A win for either side would send out another important statement as the title race looks set to heat up once again over the next couple of weeks.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are looking to break a club record if they can make it seven league wins on the bounce at the Etihad on Saturday. They enter the game off the back of a stunning 4-0 win over West Brom last week, in which they put in one of the most dominating performances seen this season.
City should offer a much stiffer test though, and Pochettino will know not to underestimate them despite their poor run of form.
Spurs came out on top in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in October, winning 2-0. That means they’ve now won three in a row against the Citizens and will be looking to make it four on the spin for the first time since May 2010 here.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is close to making a return but is not yet deemed fit enough to start a match of this magnitude. Ilkay Gundogan and Fernando remain sidelined through injury, while Fernandinho is still suspended and will miss out once again. Pablo Zabaleta may start in midfield again, with Guardiola short of options.
Tottenham have been dealt a blow in defence as Jan Vertonghen looks set to miss up to 10 weeks of action after rolling his ankle in last weekend’s win over West Brom. Erik Lamela is close to making his long-awaited return but is unlikely to be fit enough to even make the bench here.
Man City’s last five: W/W/L/W/L
Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/W/W
Key Stat: Pep Guardiola has lost five league games already this season. He’s never lost more than five in a single season during his career.
Key Player: Christian Eriksen – The Spurs playmaker is in incredible form, having picked up four assists in his last four Premier League outings. He has scored on both of his previous two trips to the Etihad Stadium and will be looking to prove the difference once again here.
Man City 1-1 Spurs – This is an extremely difficult game to predict, given how important it is for both sides. City need to ensure they avoid defeat against their top six rivals, but last weekend’s thumping at Everton will have left supporters very anxious for the visit of an in-form Spurs team. Tottenham also need to avoid defeat to keep their title hopes alive, but they know this isn’t an easy place to visit and may struggle without Vertonghen at the back. A score draw looks the most likely outcome.