EPL WEEK 18! Manchester City VS Tottenham Hotspur - SATURDAY (16/12/2017)

at 10:46 PM, 15 Dec 17 (1 month ago)
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Manchester City VS Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday (16/12/2017)
18:30 (WAT)
Tottenham are the latest side facing the unenviable task of attempting to inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on high-flying Manchester City.

But Mauricio Pochettino’s side have previous in such tasks.

Last season they won 2-0 against Pep Guardiola’s side who, until then, had won all six of their opening league matches.

It would also be Spurs who would end Chelsea’s 13-match winning streak by a victory of the same scoreline.

Spurs are unbeaten in their last four matches with City, including the fightback from 2-0 down to draw at the Etihad last season.

Manchester City's season in numbers
 15 wins in the Premier League, breaking Arsenal’s record of 14 between February and August 2002.

49 goals scored and 10 conceded during the run. Sergio Aguero is top scorer with nine while Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have eight each.

27 goals scored at home, an average of nearly four per game, with 22 scored on their travels, at an average of nearly three per game. 

8 assists by midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, the most by any City  player during the run, and he has also scored five goals. 

5 or more goals scored in four games, with Stoke (seven), Watford (six) and Liverpool and Crystal Palace (both five) suffering.

63 per cent of City’s goals were scored in the second half, with 24 per cent coming in the last 15 minutes.

Guardiola now boasts three out of the best six winning streaks in the history of European football: Manchester City (15), Barcelona (16) and Bayern Munich (19).

But that doesn’t scare Pochettino, apparently, who insists he is ‘excited’ by the challenge. It’s set to be a pre-Christmas cracker.

Team news

Spurs are buoyed by the fact that Jan Vertonghen (above) avoided suspension by coming through the midweek match with Brighton without collecting what would have been a costly fifth booking of the season.

Had he been cautioned, the Belgian would have added to Tottenham’s defensive woes with compatriot Toby Alderweireld injured and Davinson Sanchez serving the last of his three-match ban.

Pochettino will be expected to field a back four at the Etihad, with Eric Dier and partnering Vertonghen in the middle of the defence, while Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier will likely return at full back at the expense of Danny Rose and Serge Aurier.

Should he wish to play three at the back, Davies could drop into the three, as could Juan Foyth, the young Argentine.

Elsewhere, Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele – both rested against Brighton – are expected to come in for Erik Lamela and Mousa Sissoko. Victor Wanyama remains sidelined.

Manchester City
Kyle Walker will make his first competitive appearance against Spurs since his transfer last summer.

He will play on the right-side of a back four that will once again be without captain Vincent Kompany and John Stones, as Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi form the central partnership, with Fabian Delph expected to keep his place at left back.

Fernandinho, like Vertonghen, avoided a costly fifth booking in midweek, and will anchor the midfield three between Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.

Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane are expected to start up front, with Sergio Aguero on the bench.

Probable line-ups
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Mangala, Otamendi, Delph; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane.

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Winks; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane.
ruthie at 11:36 AM, 18 Dec 17 (1 month ago)
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BournIdentity at 06:58 AM, 26 Dec 17 (3 weeks ago)
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