For the two biggest spenders in the Premier League over the summer (with a combined spend of £200m/$325m), this season isn’t going according to plan. Manchester City sits eighth in the table while Tottenham are one place above them in seventh – this is not where both teams are used to being and both teams have major room for improvement.
Tottenham brought in so many new players, manager André Villas-Boas is still trying to figure out his best team, and the team has yet to gel. What started out as a promising start to the season has slowly petered away, with the once free flower, free scoring Tottenham team now struggling to find goals. At the beginning of the season I even commented on how beautiful they were to watch – I take that back now, after eleven games the words ‘bland’ and ‘dull’ come to mind when it comes to describing their play.
And then we come to the enigma that is ManchesterCity. With the players they have they should be flying high at the top of the table, but it fills me with pleasure to say they are struggling (hey I am a Manchester United fan). At home they are phenomenal, a team full of goals and attacking ferocity they have destroyed most teams at the Etihad Stadium (beating Manchester Utd 4-1 and Norwich 7-0). But take them on the road and some of the results defy belief – loosing to Cardiff, Aston Villa and Sunderland – and if a team of City’s caliber are loosing to the likes of Villa and Sunderland then there is real cause for concern, and I haven’t even mentioned their ‘dodgy keeper’ Joe Hart.
It is hard to predict who will win this game, given Manchester City are at home, I would say the points should be in the bag for Manuel Pellegrini’s team, but Tottenham may find a way to exploit City’s defensive frailties, and if that’s the case it should be an entertaining ninety minutes to watch.
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, November 24th
Last season’s result: Man City 2 Tottenham 1
Manchester City form guide: LWLWWL
Tottenham form guide: LDWWLD
ManchesterCity leading scorer: Agüero 8
Tottenham leading scorer: Soldado 4
Probable Team Line Ups –
Manchester City –
Manchester City injuries: Silva (calf, 8 Dec), Kompany (thigh, 1 Dec), Jovetic (calf, 1 Dec)
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Tottenham injuries: Rose (toe, 30 Nov), Eriksen (ankle, 21 Dec)
Manager: André Villas-Boas
Prediction: Manchester City 3 Tottenham 1
ManchesterCity vs Tottenham Probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Graphic