Man City v Tottenham Preview

English Premier League | Saturday 18 October | Etihad Stadium | 13:45





Mauricio Pochettino faces a daunting trip to the Etihad as his Tottenham side take on the Premier League champions in what has been a dreadful fixture for them. 

Last season followed the trend as Manchester City hammered Spurs in both league meetings 6-0 and 5-1. 

Tottenham fans will be hoping Pochettino can change their fortunes as the Argentine has already tasted victory against the Sky Blues while at the helm of Southampton, winning 3-1 last year February. 

To Win (90mins)
Man City 9/20
Draw 33/10
Spurs 58/10

MANCHESTER CITY


Manchester City have not as yet reached the standards that are normally expected of them but have made a steady start to the season nonetheless. 

Having played Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea already in their first seven games, they will be quite happy that they came out of those fixtures unbeaten so that they can push on in the forthcoming games against so called lesser sides. 

That being said, City did lose to Stoke at home earlier in the season and will need to avoid further slip ups if they are going to challenge Chelsea who are five points clear at the summit. 

Against Spurs, they will encounter a side out to prove that they can compete with the best even if their head-to-head record says otherwise. 

City have an impressive recent record against their opponents, winning six of their last seven meetings, losing just once. 

Manuel Pellegrini reckons Sergio Aguero is one of the world's best players - and is hoping his main marksman can stay clear of injuries this term. 

Aguero has scored six goals in nine games this term already and will be the driving force in City’s attack. While City are yet to hit top gear this season, in David Silva they have one of the most in-form players in the league. 

The Spaniard has been at his majestic best in the infancy of the campaign, insouciantly floating around the pitch and locating pockets of space in dangerous areas. 

Under Pochettino, Tottenham have tried to press teams higher up the pitch, but you have to wonder if they’ll adapt that strategy against City. 

If the Etihad outfit can play through the press then there’ll be a lot of space for Silva to operate in, which would spell trouble for Spurs. 

Containing the Spaniard will be critical to their chances of getting out of Manchester with any kind of positive result, but at this juncture, it’s difficult to see any side shutting down the player that the City faithful refer to as Merlin. 


TOTTENHAM

Tottenham recorded a vital 1-0 win over Southampton at White Hart Lane last time out, launching themselves into the top six of the Premier League standings after a difficult start to the season. 

The victory over Southampton will represent a key moment for this Tottenham team. They proved that they can execute a complex and high tempo game plan against a competent opponent. 

Crucially, they demonstrated that they can force the tempo of a match—something they have struggled with in recent seasons. 

Pochettino will be full of confidence heading into the match and will be hoping to upset the applecart. 

Spurs have only been able to win one of their last seven games against Manchester City, so it looks complicated that they can leave the Etihad with a good result this weekend. 

That will be the ultimate barometer of progress. If Spurs can take their aggressive approach to the Etihad and carve out a result, the Rubicon will truly have been crossed. 

A solid defensive performance against Arsenal gave hope that the corner was approaching. Now, it has been turned. 

Pochettino’s Tottenham are flourishing and that is mainly because their midfield are gelling together. 

Etienne Capoue has made the defensive midfield position his own. His idiosyncratic defensive style is extremely effective, and he uses his long legs expertly to lift possession when the ball-carrier seems to have escaped him. 

He provides the perfect platform for Ryan Mason and Christian Eriksen to operate in the more advanced areas. Mason, too, is growing into his role. 

Somewhere roughly between the other two, Mason has a nasty streak which dovetails nicely with his passing range and vision. 

Emmanuel Adebayor will be raring to go against his former side and despite not scoring since the 4-0 defeat of Queens Park Rangers—his only goal of the season—the 30-year-old still possesses other attributes that make him perhaps the most suitable forward conduit for the intended fluidity of his boss' attack. 

Adebayor properly using his presence, skill and final-third nous opens up space for runs from Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela and can give City’s defenders plenty to deal with in his own right.

Betting Verdict: MAN CITY 9/20
Manchester City come into the game firm favourites at 9/20 while Spurs are priced at 58/10. Pochettino may have added a backbone to the Spurs side, but they are still lacking from an attacking point of view, and the Citizens simply have too much creative zeal for the visitors to handle. Spurs haven’t won a league visit to City since 2010, and I can’t see them doing so here. Pellegrini’s men look a banker bet but if you’re looking for value, City to be winning at half time and full time is on offer at 21/20. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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