Saturday, September 26, 205, 9.45pm AEST, White Hart Lane
Tottenham Hotspur: Ninth
Manchester City: Top
Tottenham Hotspur: 2-3-1
Manchester City: 5-0-1
Last five games
Tottenham Hotspur: DDDWWW
Manchester City: WWWWL
IT took six rounds, but finally Manchester City has a black mark on its season.
A revitalised West Ham went to the Emirates and came away with a 2-1 victory, inflicting City’s ($1.94 with CrownBet.com.au), (draw is $3.75 with WilliamHill.com.au) first loss this season.
The short priced English Premier League title favourites now have to make the trip to White Hart Lane to take on a Tottenham ($4.20 with WilliamHill.com.au) side that has had a mediocre start to the Premier League season and most recently suffered a 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the League Cup mid week.
But a pair of back to back 1-0 wins in the league has Spurs season back on track after a slow start that featured a loss and then three draws in a row.
Most recently, they had a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace thanks to a 68th minute goal from new South Korean international signing Son Heung-Min.
it was an absolute cracker from Heung-Min, underlining why Spurs brought the talented attacker in.
And manager Mauricio Pochettino reckons the international can be a star for his club.
“Can Son be another hero?” he asked reporters.
“Yes, why not?
“Against Qarabag he scored twice and now he scored the winning goal.
“The energy he showed was amazing and because of that I think our supporters are very happy with him.
”Son is a player that we followed for a long time.
“He can play in lots of different positions in attack.
“At all clubs, when you sign a player the expectation is big, and I’m happy because he’s scored twice on Thursday and again today.
”We wanted to sign him because it’s a profile that we like.
“He shows a lot of energy and presses high with a high tempo, and this is one of the skills he has.“
Pochettino said he was disappointed to lose to Arsenal, but his focus had shifted to the City clash.
“There were a lot of positives, but in the end the feeling is bad because it was a derby and we all had the motivation to win this game,” he said.
”Now we need to prepare for City.
“We have one day less because they played Tuesday and we have to be strong.”
Tottenham will still have to do it without the injured Nabil Bentaleb and a knee injury to Ryan Mason, suffered when scoring the winner in a 1-0 win over Sunderland a fortnight ago, is expected to keep him out.
City, meanwhile, smacked Sunderland 4-1 in the League Cup and had reeled off five straight wins to open the season, with many commentators labelling unbeatable.
But it’s a long season and West Ham has managed to put a dint in them already, with a cracking strike from Victor Moses and another from Diafra Sakho enough to hold on, despite Kevin De Bruyne popping one in just before half time in his first full start.
Those goals were the first City had conceded in 572 minutes in the league and perhaps opened up a few little holes in the their defence.
“You need to score to win and we conceded two easy goals in the first half,” manager Manuel Pellegrini said.
“After that we had lots of attempts but didn’t score.”
Superstar attacker David Silva was a late withdrawal with injury and he may miss the weekend’s game, while none of captain Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri made the trek to Sunderland for the league cup match.
De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero were all on target midweek and look set to form a superb attacking force.
Aguero is the superstar golden boot winner, Raheem Sterling is the young big money signing with pace to burn and De Bruyne has only enhanced his status is one of the best play makers in all of Europe.
Veteran boss midfielder Yaya Toure wants his team to make a quick return to its winning ways in the league.
“We have a tough game coming against Tottenham and we needed this relief, and confidence coming back,” Toure said.
”But we have experience in the squad, players like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and me, and we try to give the other guys confidence in these situations.
“We have big experienced players who hate losing because we have experience at the high level, and we just try to stay calm and restore confidence for the next game.”
Match winner: Manchester City wins ($1.94 with CrownBet.com.au)
Correct score: Manchester City wins 3-2 ($19 with CrownBet.com.au)
Total goals: Over 2.5 goals ($1.67 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Being an Arsenal supporter, it’s hard to write nice things about Tottenham. All we can say is it must be supremely difficult to support the Lilywhites. That’s not because I hate them. It’s because they are so frustrating. Every year, it looks like Tottenham has put together a winning formula on paper, only for it to blow up in their faces. This season, they look set to really improve on last year. But their superstar 20 goals striker from last season has gone missing. Will the real Harry Kane please stand up? If he does, we give Spurs a genuine chance. But, the worry is, City just lost. They will be hell bent on showing that was just a blip on the radar and they also have a bit of history to play for. They’ve never won six away matches on the spin in the Premier League. We think they will achieve that mark with a win over Tottenham. City has fired in a ridiculous 27 goals in their last eight clashes with Spurs, nearly 3.5 a game and we’re predicting another high scoring affair with the Spurs new found form and home deck advantage contributing to a thriller.
Predicted line ups
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Bacary Sagna, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, Aleksander Kolarov, Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane
First goal scorer tips
Harry Kane ($7 with sportsbet.com.au)
Talk about crashing back to earth. Remember when this kid couldn’t miss? Has he got the sophomore blues. Who knows, but he simply can’t take a trick in front of goal, with a big fat donut from his first six matches this season. He’s young and still learning his craft. But you don’t slot 20 league goals in a season if you’re not supremely talented. We reckon something’s got to give and perhaps it could give against the toughest assignment in football. This kid earned plenty of respect last year, but if he wants to be taken seriously he must step up against the best of the best. Slotting the first goal of the match against the table leaders would be a good way to show last season wasn’t just a flash in the pan. Fun fact: last time he played against a top of the table side, Kane scored twice in a 5-3 win over Chelsea.
Jan Vertonghen ($34 with sportsbet.com.au)
The towering Belgian centre back doesn’t score a heap of goals, but then again, sides aren’t scoring many goals against City this season. We’re sniffing around for a bit of value in our second tip for Spurs and we figure the big fella will be a chance when he heads forward for his side’s set pieces. He does like to get on the end of a long range bomb and does have the ability to put them on target at serious pace. Back him if you like an outsider and want a high risk, high reward pick.
Sergio Aguero ($4.50 with sportsbet.com.au)
No, we won’t stop picking this guy. He had a frustrating first 45 against West Ham where not much went right, before slotting a beautiful ball through to De Bruyne to set up the City goal. He will be much better for the run after overcoming a knee injury to take the pitch against West Ham and you’d think he will be fit and firing for a crack at Spurs. The reigning golden boot winner was the Spurs vanquisher the last time these two clubs met at White Hart Lane and we reckon he will have a big say in this one as well. Look, we know he is often injured and always tends to start very short, but you know with this bloke he is a better chance than any other player to boot the first goal of the game. A little extra outlay will ensure you get bang for your buck. Here’s some food for thought: He’s played against the Lilywhites seven times and scored 10 goals. Back him.
Vincent Kompany ($29 with sportsbet.com.au)
Just like our Tottenham pick, we’ve gone with a big bustling centre back to get on the end of a corner and perhaps find the back of the net for the first one in this game. Kompany is no stranger to finding a goal, having scored several times for City in all competitions last season. He provides a genuine big target for the set piece takers and has genuine ability to beat goalkeepers with his height, spring, power and timing. He does have an injury cloud over him, having missed the loss to West Ham, so be sure to check the final teams before you lay down your hard earned.
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