Opposition View: Spurs v Man City

With Manchester City visiting this weekend, we asked David Jones from Man City Blog to drop by and share his thoughts on the rivalry between our two sides, the weekend game and this season’s title race.
Manchester City are the main challengers to defending champions Liverpool in the Premier League title race this season, but Tottenham Hotspur are fast proving to be a credible threat. Jose Mourinho’s side are above Liverpool and City in the table at the moment, and there is an argument to be made that despite all talks of their main objective being to finish in the Champions League places, they are among the contenders for the title.

There is really not much (historic) rivalry between City and Tottenham, but there is no love lost between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. Guardiola and Mourinho worked together at Barcelona and are now two of the best and most well-respected managers in the world.

The Spaniard and the Portuguese were big rivals when the former was the manager of Barcelona and the latter was in charge of Real Madrid. Guardiola and Mourinho also locked horns in the Premier League when the latter was the manager of Manchester United. The former FC Porto boss would like nothing more than to pip Guardiola to the Premier League title race this season, potentially Guardiola’s last in charge of City.

Of course, it is too early for the title race to be decided now, but this weekend’s game against Tottenham is massive for City. The Citizens have not been particularly great in recent weeks, but they are getting the job done and picking up valuable points.

Guardiola wants to win matches playing beautiful and entertaining football, and while he will not change his philosophy against Tottenham, against a defensive-minded Mourinho, he does need to be more practical.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are in exceptional form, and if Gareth Bale starts, then it will be a problem for the visiting team’s back-line. Tottenham’s defensive unit is not great either. After all, the North London outfit have conceded nine goals in eight Premier League matches so far this season.

With reports suggesting that Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling will be available for the match against Spurs, it would enhance the Citizens’ chances of picking up all three points from the encounter.

Fernandinho is also reportedly available for the match, meaning that Guardiola’s side could be better defensively – more problems for Spurs then! Given the quality of players on show at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday evening, it does promise to be a good game. However, just like the match between City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium before the international break, don’t be surprised if it ends in a 1-1 or 2-2 draw.