Inside the Opposition

Inside the Opposition: City vs. Tottenham (Predicted XI, Man to Watch, Opposition View)

After the result against Swansea on Wednesday, Manchester City now hold the outright record for consecutive Premier League wins with a simply incredible 15 victories on the bounce.

The Blues are flying higher and higher each week and Pep has made it clear that he’s not going to fly too close to the sun and let complacency be the reason for our downfall. He showed this with the strong team selection against bottom of the table Swansea in midweek and there’ll certainly be no slacking against Spurs.

The ‘Harry Kane team’ have had a tricky start to the season, having drawn a few too many games at their rented accommodation and go into the game 18 points behind City. We’d do well to remember though that this is a team that finished above Real Madrid and Dortmund in their Champion’s League group and could potentially give us our biggest challenge to date.

Let’s look inside the opposition…

Predicted Line-up

Pochettino has shown his flexibility when it comes to Tottenham’s team selection and shape this season. In their two most recent games at home (Stoke and Brighton) Spurs have lined up with a 4-2-3-1 but in their two previous big away fixtures (Arsenal & United) they have opted for something closer to a 3-5-2.

With the London club subject to numerous missing personnel – especially in defence with Alderweireld & Sanchez unavailable for the game – we could see Poch choose to play with the formation that’s seen them score seven goals and gain six points in two games.

Available at the back, one of the big choices for the Argentinian is whether to play Aurier or Trippier against his former club, with the former scoring in his last game which may be enough to get him to start the game. At the back Dier and Vertonghen are the two fit senior centre-backs and Danny Rose one of the choices on the left.

To try and contain the City playmakers I’d expect Dembele to be given the job of breaking up the play with the new man Harry Winks given a similar job to do in midfield.

If Pochettino comes to attack then you’d expect all of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min to start as all provide a serious goal threat and given the opportunity can be a nightmare for any defenders.

What kind of ‘Harry Kane’ team would it be without the main man up top? I believe that Pep, in his own weird way, meant that as a compliment but you can guarantee that if the Englishman were to score to win the game for Spurs that we’ll be seeing that quote all over the back pages.

Player to watch

Spurs obviously have a few more than a few talented players at their disposal but the one to watch for me is Christian Eriksen. The Dane joined the club in the summer of 2013 with the money gained from the sale of Gareth Bale and is far and away the best player the club signed in that aftermath. It’s not surprise that the midfielder has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent times and 4 goals and 5 assists in the league this season make him one of Tottenham’s most dangerous players. His technical skill on the ball, passing precision and deadly set piece skills have seen him become Denmark’

A view from the opposition

I spoke to Mike from the Tottenham Hotspur podcast The Spurs Show to get a brief insight into his views on the game and season so far.

Can you tell us your thoughts on your season so far? Have you adapted well to Wembley?

It’s been on par to what we predicted pre-season. Namely we would struggle to adapt at Wembley and a few key injuries would stretch our thin in real quality squad. The bonus has been our Champions League form funnily enough where we have adapted well tactically so far.

What have you made of City this year?

Stunning. Pep has addressed the problems of last season it seems and I can’t see any other side getting near then.

How do you expect Pochettino to approach the game? Will we see high pressing, attacking football from Spurs?

No we will play I guess like Real Madrid away. Invite City on and try and break quickly. However no Toby at the back and Sanchez suspended and loss of form of Alli and Eriksen of late could prove crucial.

Finally can we get your prediction on the final score?

I think City will win 2-1 in a game tighter than many have predicted.

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