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Champions Start Title Campaign Against Spurs

Last updated: August 11, 2021 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 16:30
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: WLWLW
Away Form: WLWLW
Last Meeting: Man City 3 – 0 Spurs
Competition: Premier League

The new football season is almost here, and there are some great games to look forward to. The pick of the bunch is the great-looking clash on Sunday between Tottenham and the champions Manchester City. Pep Guardiola faces Nuno Espirito Santo, a manager he has only won twice against in seven games. The first of the ‘big six’ to battle each other, drama is almost guaranteed.

It is a new beginning at Tottenham under Nuno Espirito Santo. The former Wolves gaffer has inherited a side low in confidence after a poor run last season that led to the sacking of their manager Jose Mourinho. Contrary to Daniel Levy’s stated desire to see attacking football, his toughest critics have labelled him an inferior Mourinho. The predecessor is a more defensive-minded manager preferring to play with a back three and two holding midfielders, thus having just three attacking players and the wing-backs.

Christian Romero was one of the best defenders in the Italian League last campaign and is their most promising acquisition from Atlanta. Initially, on a season loan, Tottenham has the option to buy the 23-year-old for £46.7m. The Argentinian plays at centre-back and helped his national side win the Copa América this summer.

However, fans are more likely to be worried about sales as Harry Kane, the top goal scorer (twenty-three) and top assist provider (fourteen) last season, has expressed his desire to leave the London club. To make matters worse, their weekend opponents are one of the top contenders interested in him. The Three Lion’s captain boasts two hundred and twenty-one goals in three hundred and thirty-six games for Spurs. Kane’s and Heung-Min Son’s numbers seventeen goals and ten assists are title-winning numbers. No player from the title-winning side came close to this tally in terms of goal involvement.

Guardiola has struggled against Nuno; the Portuguese man has the edge with four wins, one draw, and two defeats of the seven games. This match will be interesting to see how he will tactically approach the game with a better squad (with respect to Wolves).

Spurs finished the season seventh to miss out on the top two tiers of European football. However, this could be a blessing in disguise, with the new Portuguese manager surely fancying his chances in UEFA’s inaugural Conference League tournament. The former Wolves man transformed Wolves from a Championship side to a team competing in Europe, reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. With the lower quality of opposition and the talents at his disposal, the competition could be their best chance of silverware.

His greatest attribute that could help him establish a successful spell in London is his man-management. The diverse talent in the Spurs team needs to be natured delicately; players such as Delle Alli, Lucas Moura, and Steven Bergwijn are great players who need some inspiration to reach their full potential. Nuno did well to raise talents such as Diogo Jota, Adama Traore, Pedro Neto, and Raul Jimenez, hoping to work his magic once more.

Tottenham has a lot to prove this season, especially where there were serious title contenders but then collapse to fail to qualify for the top European tournaments. A trophy is top of their priority list for the fans who have endured years without silverware.

Man City lost to Leicester City in the Premier League curtain-raiser, Community Shield. Pep Guardiola will have a full squad to select from except Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, and Aymeric Laporte, who will be in self-isolation.

Jack Grealish will have a chance to impress his new boss. He will surely go up a level when he develops in the Pep Guardiola system and learns the tactical aspect of which is a big threat to the Premier League on how good he can become. The only hindrance to his game will be a lack of game time attributed to the huge squad depth and relentless rotation in the side. However, if Pep Guardiola can convince Harry Kane to join his side, he will have a complete experienced and lethal side that will have a better realistic chance of defending their title.

The two sides last met in the Carabao Cup final, where a Laporte late header earned the side a fourth successive Carabao Cup. However, the optics will be far different this time with the Citizen who started last season slowly picking up pace and momentum as the season went by, need to marshal a bright start. They lost the UEFA Champions League finals to Chelsea by a solo goal but will be hoping they can go all the way and this time get over the line as they boast a stronger side than they had last season.

The Blue side of Manchester was the highest-scoring team in the league, with eighty-three goals shared among sixteen players. Ikay Gundogan was the standout performer last season, and their top scorer with just eighteen goals shows how tactical the team plays as a unit other than individual brilliance. A great improvement to an attacking side has been their defence marshalled by Premier League Player of the Season Ruben Dias. A rock-solid commander led his side to nineteen clean sheets and even improved his partner John Stones, prone to howlers in the defence. A lethal attacking system doubled up by a rock-solid defence and a multi-talented midfield is serious credentials for an exciting side to look out for this season.


Team News

Kane scored twenty-three goals and provided fourteen assists last season.

Nuno has won four, drawn one, and lost twice the three games he has managed against Pep Guardiola.

Man City was the highest-scoring side with eighty-three goals, and the team with the best defence kept nineteen clean sheets.

The Citizens lost the finals of the Champions League, and despite maintaining focus on the European trophy, domestic success has been a top priority for the Manchester side.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Spurs (4-3-3): Lloris, Doherty, Romero, Dier, Reguilon, Hojberg, Sissoko, Bergwijn, Ndombele, Lucas, Son
Subs: Gollini, Rodon, Aurier, Davies, Lo Celso, Moura, Winks, Kane, Whiteman, Sanchez
Injured:
Doubtful:
Not available:
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Man City (3-2-4-1): Ederson, Mendy, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, Grealish, Torres, Sterling, Mahrez
Subs: Steffen, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, B. Silva, Foden, Jesus, Hernandez, Carson, Fernandinho
Injured: Laporte
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Season

  • Spurs and The Citizens have played 48 professional games, the hosts have 25 direct wins against City’s 16 wins, and seven draws between them.
  • Last season, each team won on their turf, keeping a clean sheet; Spurs beat City 2 – 0, and City triumphed 3 – 0 at the Etihad.
  • An exciting opener will surely ignite the rivalry instantly as we gear up for another wonderful season of the best league in the World.
  • All eyes will be on Harry Kane’s situation as the man who won both the golden boot and top assist with unique goals tally each season yet to win a trophy and linked to a move to their opposition that wins trophies for fun.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
13/02/2021 EPL Man City 3 – 0 Spurs Rodri 23’
21/11/2020 EPL Spurs 2 – 0 Man City Bergwijn 63’
17/08/2019 EPL Man City 2 – 2 Spurs Sterling 20’
20/04/2019 EPL Man City 1 – 0 Spurs Foden 5′
17/04/2019 UEFA CL Man City 4 – 3 Spurs Sterling 4’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Tottenham rarely seems out of the news recently, and until the future of their captain is sorted out, they are likely to continue to dominate the conversation. The appointment of their new manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, was received with a degree of apathy with their support. Still, it’s hard to disagree that Nuno’s teams are hard to beat, as Pep knows as he’s been on the end of some surprise beatings by Nuno. Although Spurs have the players, do they have the unity and desire?

You do wonder if City had taken just a few more days to sign Jack Grealish, would we have seen Messi in the Premier League? But, sliding door moments aside, Grealish is a reinforcement to an already formidable army. And at 25-year-old, City could get a good eight years out of the player who could become a club legend.

City had a slow start to the season last campaign, we don’t think they will make the same mistake twice, and we feel they will take advantage of the turmoil at Tottenham.

We are expecting plenty of goals, 3-1 to City available @ 14/1 with bet365 is our shout. If he starts, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Grealish score; he is available @ 12/5 to score at any time.