In a Premier League season that has thus far, for the most been dominated by both Manchester clubs, this upcoming Sunday presents the perfect opportunity for North London to stake back some title revenge.
It starts with Harry Redknapp’s men. As they make the trip up north, Spurs will be looking to prove that the 5-1 drubbing at White Hart Lane back in August was merely an off day. There is, however, more at stake this time round for both sides, as just 5 points separate Spurs from table topping City.
Revenge has been the key word between these two teams in recent years, as Spurs managed too claim a famous win at the Etihad Stadium 2 years ago, ensuring their Champions League dreams, and ultimately, fourth spot. City are by no means the same opposition from 2 seasons ago, and they have quickly forgotten the memories of a late Peter Crouch goal, with Mancini’s men having been dominant throughout the season to date.
Man City enter the game with a slight dip in form, and while still maintaining their 100 percent record in the league at home this year, they have lost their last 2 at the Etihad, with defeats coming in both cups, to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively. Spurs enter the game unbeaten in their last 7 Premiership games, winning four, as Redknapp’s men have all of a sudden become both City and United’s, main title contender.
For the home side, Mancini’s team continues without the absence of both Toure brothers, who are at African Cup of Nations Duty along with suspended captain Vincent Kompany, who’s red card against United 2 weeks ago, sees him sit this one out. Mancini has the option of recalling Mario Balotelli as he returns from injury, and I wouldn’t be surprised see the City manager spring another one of his tactical surprises, by putting Balotelli in from the start. Other than that, City is at full strength, and will be looking for the assurances from Savic and Lescott, as they continue their unfamiliar partnership at centre half.
For Tottenham, they will have to cope without in-form striker Emmanuel Adebayor this Sunday, as he sits out due to ineligibility reasons. Injuries to Gallas, Sandro and long absentee Huddlestone, are also preventing Spurs from being at full strength. Jermaine Defoe will most likely take the place of Adebayor, with Van der Vaart positioning himself just behind the front man. Spurs bring what is in my opinion, the most in-form midfield within the Premiership to Manchester this weekend, with the pace of Lennon and Bale, craft and vision of Modric, accompanied by the no-nonsense bullish Parker, I can’t see a more formidable midfield four in Britain at the current moment.
I can see Tottenham picking something up this Sunday. Whether it being a draw, or perhaps sneaking it 2-1, I just feel the pace and Menace of Bale and Lennon will be too much for the Man City full-backs, and I’m not entirely convinced with their centre-half partnership either. City looks a different side without the presence of Yaya Toure, and in my opinion has now met a midfield that can match them all over the park. I’m going too go for it and say Spurs 2-1.