Manchester City welcome Tottenham to the Etihad Stadium for the second time in a matter of days. This match takes place in the Premier League and revenge will be on the minds of the home players. During the week, the two teams played out a breathtaking seven-goal thriller in the Champions League, resulting in Spurs qualifying for the semi-finals. The match ended with a VAR controversy that denied Pep Guardiola’s side a place in the last four. Neutrals will be hoping for more of the same on Saturday.
It is a very difficult task to win a quadruple for any English team, taking into account the quality of the top six. However, Manchester City came closer than any other side have managed before. It seemed poetic that a fellow Premier League team ended their hopes. The Champions League will have been a priority for the club as they have never won the competition before. Their departure from the competition will have ignited a fire under the squad and will serve as motivation to capture a second successive Premier League crown. That will be evident on Saturday.
Tottenham have reached the last four of the Champions League for the first time in their history, but the Premier League remains a high priority for them. It is crucial that they finish in the top four to ensure qualification for next season’s competition. That said, it may be difficult to avoid focusing on the upcoming clash with Ajax. This weekend serves as a difficult test for the team as they will be aware of the reaction they are likely to face from Manchester City.
It has been a year of frustration for Kevin de Bruyne due to multiple injuries. Last season, he established himself as one of the league’s leading players. Although Manchester City have managed without him, it is obvious that they are a better team with him on the pitch. During the disappointing meeting with Tottenham on Wednesday, the Belgian international stood out as one of the best players on the pitch. He caused chaos with his movement and creativity in the attacking half. The midfielder assisted three of Manchester City’s four goals and ran riot in central areas. Guardiola will be hoping his star player can continue to perform to that level over the rest of this season as the club attempt to complete a domestic treble.
The South Korean steps up in the absence of Harry Kane repeatedly. This last week has been no different, as he helped the team to an explosive start during the Champions League quarter-final second leg. During the first ten minutes, he scored twice to put his team into a strong position with two away goals in the tie. There are few better finishers in the Premier League and that was evident with both of his goals on Wednesday. After a recent rest, he has returned to his best form and he will have a huge part to play as Spurs challenge on two fronts.
Fernandinho is expected to return to the starting eleven. They could make a change at the back with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi contenders to come into the team. Benjamin Mendy could continue at left-back.
Moussa Sissoko is unlikely to feature after being taken off during the week. It will be hoped that Harry Winks can return to the starting eleven. Fernando Llorente could start after his deciding goal during the week.
It is difficult to see anything other than a home win, despite Tottenham prevailing in the Champions League. Although it won’t be remembered, Manchester City did win the football match on Wednesday and the same result is likely in the Premier League. They will be out for revenge and have shown an excellent ability to bounce back from defeat earlier this season. The injuries that Tottenham have suffered of late will make it difficult for them to stop the home side from scoring.
Manchester City 3-1 Tottenham