Tottenham face a very difficult trip to face Premier League champions Manchester City this weekend. Both teams managed to win their opening fixture, but Pep Guardiola’s team were far more convincing. They put five goals past West Ham United with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick. Meanwhile, Tottenham had to come from behind to beat Aston Villa. They managed to do so thanks to a great display from their talisman, Harry Kane. Those two players will be vital to their respective teams this season.
Manchester City have added quality to their squad this summer, with Rodri and Joao Cancelo coming to the Etihad Stadium. The former started during the opening weekend and he looks to be a great long-term replacement for Fernandinho. Guardiola was gushing in his praise for his compatriot, which indicates how much quality that he does possess. They will be looking for another Premier League title, but they will also have one eye on the Champions League. This is why they need a good start to the season, to allow them to build up a lead at the top of the table.
Mauricio Pochettino is facing the difficult task to continue improving at Tottenham this season. Their Champions League run last season underlined their quality and the players must now show that they can compete to that level regularly. This weekend will show whether they can continue to compete with the best. They were the team to knock Manchester City out of the Champions League, which may add some needle to the fixture on Saturday. New signing Giovani Lo Celso will be looking to get his first taste of Premier League football at the Etihad Stadium.
- Raheem Sterling became the first player to score a hat-trick during the opening weekend of the Premier League season since Didier Drogba in the 2010-11 campaign.
- Tottenham have only won one of the last six meetings between the two clubs. This was the result that ultimately ended Manchester City’s hopes of the quadruple last season.
This could be a coming of age season for Raheem Sterling as the leader of this Manchester City team. There is no denying his ability on the pitch, but he does show a maturity off it, with his persona on social media. Vincent Kompany will leave a huge hole in the dressing room, which may only be felt later in the campaign. The England international could be one of those who steps up to fill it. During the opening weekend, he grabbed the headlines with a superb hat-trick to set the tone for his campaign. Although he failed to make a key pass and only completed one dribble, the 24-year-old was a killer in front of goal. His movement and confidence in the final third meant that he always poses a danger to opposition teams. The fact he went on to score a hat-trick and wanted to take the penalty kick shows his desire to score a lot of goals this season. He is the Manchester City player with the potential to enter the Balon D’Or race in the coming years.
There have been a lot of rumours regarding the future of Christian Eriksen over the summer, as the midfielder announced his desire for a new challenge. At the age of 27, he will feel it is the right time to test himself at one of the very elite clubs, such as a Barcelona or Real Madrid. However, Tottenham fans will suggest that the midfielder hasn’t shown the high level of consistency required to earn that move. With his contract ending next summer, he will likely have his pick of moves. In the meantime, he needs to make himself stand out in this Spurs’ team. Last weekend, he started from the bench, but his influence was highlighted by the shots stats. Tottenham managed more shots in the 26 minutes that the Danish international was on the pitch than the 64 minutes that he wasn’t. During this period, the team fought back to take the three points. For that alone, he needs to be back in the starting eleven this weekend. If he wants to earn a big move next summer to one of the very best clubs, a good performance against Manchester City would help in that.
Joao Cancelo will be pushing for a start, but maybe held back due to the impressive showing from Kyle Walker last weekend. Sergio Aguero is likely to start following his goal from the bench against West Ham. Fernandinho could return to the matchday squad, while Bernardo Silva should be involved.
Son Heung-min remains suspended, while Dele Alli will be missing with a hamstring problem. Ben Davies is pushing for a return, while Jan Vertonghen will hope to be involved following his absence against Aston Villa. Lo Celso could feature and make his debut.
Manchester’s City should have enough to beat Tottenham. They looked frightening in their opening game and Spurs didn’t look convincing until the closing minutes of their game. Harry Kane will be looking to have an impact on this game, while Christian Eriksen will have an influence if starting the match. A narrow home win looks the most likely result.
Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham