Tottenham head to the Etihad on Wednesday night with a one goal lead but without marksman Harry Kane as they seek to hold off hosts Manchester City in the second leg of this Champions League quarterfinal.
Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Key Stat: With their win in the first leg, Tottenham snapped a four match winless streak against Manchester City.
Expert Verdict: Liverpool came to the Etihad with a lead last year and were under pressure straight away, caving in within a couple of minutes. Expect a similarly fast-paced start from the Citizens. But this time, Spurs will not be caught off guard and should weather the storm. Whether they can do it for the entire 90 minutes is a big question, but the legs of City look like they might just be wearing out and it could lead to a semi-final berth for the visitors.
Pep Guardiola has a few question marks for this clash, most of them coming in the sort of team he selects. He has to balance the domestic title picture as well, so that will play some role in the affair. With that said, they are looking healthier now than they’ve been in a little while, with only Bernardo Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko doubts to feature.
Raheem Sterling has had quite the season so far, and it kept up on Sunday as he scored a goal in either half to help send City back atop the Premier League table. He’s now tied with a slew of other heavy hitters for second in the PL Golden Boot race, too, and they will hope he can keep up htat form in another competition. Kevin De Bruyne didn’t start the first leg, as Guardiola prioritized the Palace match, but he should get the nod here. He’s looking rejuvenated and up for it now, and his passing could be instrumental in getting City through to a second-ever UCL semi.
Manchester City have four wins and a loss in their last five matches:
1-3 win at Crystal Palace
1-0 loss at Tottenham (UCL)
1-0 win vs Brighton (FA Cup)
2-0 home win vs Cardiff
0-2 win at Fulham
Defenders:Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Danilo
Midfielders:Fernandinho, David Silva, De Bruyne
Forwards:Sterling, Sane, Aguero
Mauricio Pochettino will be missing main man Harry Kane, but his side did get the goal they needed without him and scored four at the weekend and will be full of hope. Dele Alli missed the match at the weekend, but you had better believe he will be in if passed fit. Eric Dier, Erik Lamela, and Serge Aurier are all out as well as Kane. Look for him to get his best men on the pitch here, regardless of position, meaning he could just go with a five man back line.
Son Heung-Min has proven to be one of the most valuable and underrated PL stars, and that showed again in the first leg last week. After scoring the first goal at their brand new stadium, he scored the first UCL goal in it and gave Spurs a great foundation to build off of. Lucas Moura comes into the match in fine form, too, though he did score a hat trick against lowly Huddersfield. It’s three goals nonetheless, though, and that means he will be full of confidence and ready to help fill in for Kane against the Citizens.
Tottenham have three wins and two losses in their last five matches:
4-0 home win vs Huddersfield
1-0 home win vs Manchester City (UCL)
2-0 home win vs Crystal Palace
2-1 loss at Liverpool
2-1 loss at Southampton
Defenders:Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen
Midfielders:Trippier, Sissoko, Winks, Alli, Eriksen
It’s been incredibly tight over the years between these teams, and across 138 matches, it’s City that narrowly lead the way with 54 wins, 53 losses, and 31 draws against Tottenham.
Here's a look at the last five results:
Apr 9, 2019: Tottenham 1-0 Man City (UCL)
Oct 29, 2018: Tottenham 0-1 Man City
Apr 14, 2018: Tottenham 1-3 Man City
Dec 16, 2017: Man City 4-1 Tottenham
Jan 21, 2017: Man City 2-2 Tottenham
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Manchester City are at 2/7 to win, a draw is at 19/4, and a Tottenham win is at 9/1.
To make it to the semis, Manchester City are at 8/13 and Tottenham are at 6/5.
The first leg of this tie was marked by a few moments that stand out. First was Guardiola’s tactical moves, some of which were heavily scrutinized after the final whistle. Another was the penalty miss, which many felt had been generously awarded to City in the first place, by Aguero. That kept Spurs in. Then Harry Kane went down, and that looked to all but end Spurs’ hopes, until unsung hero Son came through with the winner. Don’t count him out, ever, or you’re at your own peril.
Manchester City will begin this match with their minds everywhere, seemingly. They are still well within the race for the Premier League crown sitting atop the table, they have made the FA Cup Final, and they are still looking to breakthrough and make it the final of this vaunted competition under a manager everyone expects to win it every single season. The Citizens have looked very composed in Europe this term, largely dominating a group that contained Lyon, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Hoffenheim. They did lose to Lyon, but that was a rarity for sure. It’s one of just two home losses they have had all season, with no draws, so their 1-0 loss in London wouldn’t have been the all-time worst result for them by any stretch. Since losing to Palace back in December, they have rattled off 12 victories in a row at home in all competitions.
Tottenham will start play in _ place in the Premier League with 67 points from 33 games. They still have work to do their in order to seal up a Champions League place, but they are in one of the four slots right now. On top of that, they have the possibility of qualifying via winning this year’s edition. They have always looked like champions, but they are beginning to play like it. They did scrape through the group stages against Barcelona, PSV, and Inter, but they made it. They did saw off Borussia Dortmund with two wins in the Round of 16 to confidently wheel their way to the last eight. Away from home, they have a win, two draws, and a loss in the UCL. Overall, they have 15 wins, two draws, and nine losses in all comps. They have lost six of their last seven away fixtures, so that is a slight worry for sure.
Son scoring anytime is at 5/2 via Ladbrokes.
Both teams grabbing a goal can be had for 1.86 at Betfair.
With or without Harry Kane, this is a Tottenham side that aren’t to be messed with. They have won without him before, and while this would be a high profile one to do it without him, they can see it through and progress at the expense of the Citizens.