After losing three games on the bounce, having their title party spoiled at home, and dumped out of the Champions League all in less than a week, Manchester City now face the unenviable task of traveling to Wembley to take on a very good Tottenham side in the Premier League on Saturday.
Group EPL Teams Wembley Stadium, Wembley, England 14 Apr 2018 6:45 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Spurs are in the midst of a 14 match unbeaten run in the league, winning 11 times and drawing just three. Overall, they have won four matches straight in all competitions since being eliminated from the Champions League by Juventus.
Expert Verdict: After quite possibly the most disastrous week imaginable for the Citizens, they now face the prospect of going to Wembley Stadium to face a very high-flying Spurs side that have beaten them twice running on their home patch and only lost one of the last five meetings with them. That puts City right up against it, and they might just be forced to wait a while yet to clinch the title as Spurs will be looking to keep up their hot streak and undermine City even further.
Mauricio Pochettino has quite a healthy squad at the moment with one man, young midfielder Harry Winks, out at the moment. Other than that, the team should not be changed very much from the side that won against Stoke last time out for their fourth straight away win.
With the top four looking like an inevitability at this point, the top priority on tap as far as the league goes could be getting Harry Kane as many goals as possible in order to win another Golden Boot. The Englishman has been superb once again this season, and he scored a goal last week after recovering from injury. He debated a second goal, and appears to still be contesting it, but his 24 goals currently sees him five behind Mo Salah.
Spurs have four wins and a loss in their last five matches:
1-2 win at Stoke
1-3 win at Chelsea
0-3 win at Swansea (FA Cup)
1-4 win at Bournemouth
1-2 home loss vs Juventus (UCL)
Defenders:Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose
Defensive Midfielders:Wanyama, Dembele
Attacking Midfielders:Eriksen, Alli, Son
Pep Guardiola only has one man out for certain due to injury and that is left back Benjamin Mendy. Center back John Stones is also a doubt to go for this match. In terms of tactics, expect to see a slightly more conservative approach than the one put out against Liverpool. There may be a couple of rotations made as well.
Only three men, including greats Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney, have scored more goals against Spurs than Sergio Aguero. The Argentine has scored ten goals against Spurs down the years, and he will be very driven to show his manager that he was wrong to have left him out of the starting lineup against Liverpool for the second leg. He'd also no doubt like to add to his total of 21 PL goals in order to finish higher in the Golden Boot race himself.
Manchester City have three losses and two wins in their last five matches:
1-2 home loss vs Liverpool (UCL)
2-3 home loss vs Manchester United
3-0 loss at Liverpool (UCL)
1-3 win at Everton
0-2 win at Stoke
Defenders:Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph
Midfielders:Fernandinho, David Silva, De Bruyne
Forwards:Sterling, Sane, Aguero
In 135 matches overall, this tie has been very close. Spurs have the exact same number of wins as City at 52 and there have also been 31 draws contested. In the Premier League era, they have dominated, however, with 23 wins, 12 losses, and six draws. Here's a look at the last five results:
Dec 16, 2017: City 4-1 Spurs
Jan 21, 2017: City 2-2 Spurs
Oct 2, 2016: Spurs 2-0 City
Feb 14, 2016: City 1-2 Spurs
Sep 16, 2015: Spurs 4-1 City
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Tottenham are at 7/5 to win, a draw is at 13/5, and a Manchester City win is at 17/10.
Tottenham will enter this match in fourth position in the league with 67 points. They've played a match less than Liverpool but have the same points, so if they do go on to win the rest of their games, they will finish in a minimum of third place. At this point, after their recent win over Chelsea especially, they are nearly guaranteed a top four place and the Champions League spot that comes with it due to having a ten point lead over their London rivals.
As for Manchester City, they are still in first place as they have been for virtually the entirety of the season. However, they are still a little ways away from clinching the title as of yet. The Citizens had the chance to do so last weekend, but they saw it slip through their fingertips as United came from two goals down at the half to win. The only way they could seal the title this week would be to win and also see United lose to West Brom. A loss here wouldn't be catastrophic, but it would force them to wait a little longer.
At home, Spurs have been very good this season. They have only lost once there all season, way back at the beginning of the season, and have won ten of the 15 games held at Wembley. They have been in dominant form recently with four wins straight and a draw in the last five matches alone. They have only conceded nine times there altogether, showing they are not the easiest team to break down.
When it comes to City, they have been utterly outrageous away from the Etihad all term. They have only lost once, away to Liverpool, and have drawn twice in 16 matches to give them 41 points. That total alone is more than ten teams have had in all of their matches combined so far. They have won three straight and are unbeaten in the last four away games in which they have played.
Harry Kane to register anytime is at 11/10 via Ladbrokes.
While it would not be a major shock to see City respond with a resounding result here, it does look a little unlikely at this time. Spurs have been playing very well and will attack the hurt psyche of the Citizens by pressing them hard from the first minute.