Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Saturday at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, with kick-off at 5:30pm GMT.
This will be the 24th meeting between the two managers with Mourinho winning only six of 23 previous meetings. However, the Portuguese has won four and lost three of their last nine meetings and will go into this clash hopeful his side can come away with a win especially after masterminding a victory over Guardiola’s side the last time the two teams met.
Spurs remained unbeaten against Man City last season, including a 2-0 home win in February which ended a run of six top-flight meetings without a victory.
Tottenham have now won both of their home games against Man City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and could triumph in three consecutive home editions of this fixture for the first time since a run of six between 2005 and 2009.
Tottenham have won five, drawn two and lost one of their matches this season and they currently sit second, just one point behind first placed Leicester City.
Guardiola’s side have only won three of their seven outings so far this season, dropping nine of the 21 points available to them to find themselves 10th in the table.
However, City do still boast a game in hand over most of the other teams in the league and are only six points off pace-setters Leicester, so they certainly have the scope to make up for their sluggish start.
A 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool before the international break was the third time they have shared the spoils in their last five Premier League games – as many as their previous 70 outings in the competition.
City’s struggles to turn those draws into wins can be directly correlated to their relative lack of goals this season, having found the back of the net only 10 times in their seven league games.
To put that into context, City had plundered 27 goals by the same stage of last season, and their current tally is their lowest after seven games since 2010-11.
Spurs will be without right back Matt Doherty after he tested positive for coronavirus while away with the Republic of Ireland.
Steven Bergwijn is a doubt for the game after he was sent home from Netherlands duty after an unspecified injury. Erik Lamela is also closing in on a return from a calf injury, although this match may come too soon for him, while Tanguy Ndombele is available after an issue of his own.
Predicted line-up (4-3-3): Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Sissoko, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso, Bale, Son, Kane.
Nathan Ake suffered an injury while on international duty with the Netherlands and is expected to miss the game.
Raheem Sterling is however expected to feature although he picked up a calf injury while on England duty.
Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy remain sidelined with muscles injuries and will likely not feature against Spurs.
Sergio Aguero has been out for the past month with a hamstring injury and could be in line for a return to the matchday squad with any potential participation likely to be from the bench.
Predicted line-up (4-3-3): Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Torres, Jesus, Sterling.
Prediction: Tottenham 1-2 Man City
Victory for Spurs would send them top of the league at least temporarily but it would be a real statement of intent and we expect them to go for it tomorrow especially with City’s struggles this season.
Although Guardiola’s side haven’t made the best start to the season, they have beaten Arsenal and Wolves and could have won against Liverpool had De Bruyne not missed a penalty and that shows they are able to turn it on against the league’s better sides.
The Citizens haven’t scored a lot of goals this season but Guardiola will hope that his players carry their international form into domestic duties, having seen Ferran Torres score a hat-trick for Spain against Germany, Rodri also get on the scoresheet in that match and Ruben Diaz net twice for Portugal against Croatia.
This game could come down to who wants it more but Spurs may not have the defence to contain City’s attack and we expect Manchester City to do enough to snatch the win.