Tottenham’s new stadium will get the first taste of Champions League action when Manchester City visit for their quarter-final on Tuesday. Spurs played Crystal Palace in the first game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday, but this clash carries more vital importance.
Spurs bid goodbye to White Hart Lane in 2017, and they have been playing at Wembley Stadium temporarily since. The 2-0 win against Palace was a joyous occasion, and boss Mauricio Pochettino will want to take it up a notch on Tuesday. Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen got the goals that night, as Spurs maintained their position in the top four of the Premier League.
Despite their strong start to the season, a top-four finish is far from a guarantee for Spurs. They are just a point above fourth-placed Arsenal, and they have lost three out of their last five league games. Borussia Dortmund exited at the hands of Tottenham in the round of 16, as the London side won the two-legged tie 4-0. A much stricter task awaits them in the form of Manchester City.
City are in incredible form, and Pep Guardiola’s side has won their last 14 games in all competitions. They trail Liverpool by two points at the Premier League summit, albeit with a game in hand. City beat Brighton 1-0 on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final, which took them one step closer to the quadruple dream.
Guardiola has the League Cup in the bag, and he will face Watford in the FA Cup final next month. But the league and the Champions League are the major honours, and there is much work to do in both of them. The Spaniard has bowed out prematurely in Europe in each of the last two seasons. Monaco and Liverpool prevailed respectively in goal-laden encounters, and he will aim to amend that against Spurs.
Pochettino has no significant injury concerns, and the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli will headline the attack. He could deploy a three-man defense, or draft in young Harry Winks in midfield instead. Sergio Aguero is the primary concern for Guardiola. The Argentine hobbled off last week against Fulham, but he is expected to start against Spurs. Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne are also back to full fitness, and their return could not have come at a better time.
These two sides will meet again twice in the next ten days, which should give way to a fascinating tactical battle. City holds the edge in recent matches, and they have been victorious in the last three meetings. They won 1-0 the last time these two sides met courtesy of a goal from Riyad Mahrez.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City Prediction
It is a tough game to call, and a conservative approach is likely from either manager. Guardiola’s side was ripped up by Liverpool on the counter last season, and he will want to rectify that. The total goals should be under 2.5 in the game, which is bound to be a close one.
Total Goals: Under 2.5 @ 2.19 at Pinnacle Sports
Tottenham vs Manchester Pre-Match Press Conference
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