Will Tottenham emulate Liverpool’s success over Manchester City when they host Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday?
City have now lost half of their previous 10 games in all competitions – including two defeats in the Premier League. That’s some derailment from their Invincible-chasing league status three months ago – which ended with a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool in January.
While defeats to Wigan in the EFL Cup and Basel in Europe could have been blamed on disrupted selections, their three successive defeats to date cannot. Liverpool blasted City aside to progress into the Champions League semi-finals with a 3-0 home win and 2-1 victory at the Etihad – either side of Manchester United delaying City’s Premier League coronation party last week.
So it would appear to be a good time for Mauricio Pochettino’s side to host the league leaders, having suffered a 4-1 defeat during the reverse fixture in December, during City’s run of 18 consecutive wins. Like Klopp, Pochettino may look to exploit the left channel, exposing Walker via his former team-mate Danny Rose, while Heung-Min Son could provide a similar pacy option to Mane.
Liverpool rocked City for pace but Spurs have ample resource to do the same – having produced more fast breaks than any other club in the Premier League this season with 24, primarily from Alli and Son (seven each).
Defensively, Spurs have been superior to Liverpool this season – conceding only 27 goals compared with the Reds’ 35 – and the rearguard will need to assert that solidarity to avoid a repeat of the heavy defeat to City earlier this season. In addition, defensive midfielders Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele are capable of matching the guile displayed by Milner and Henderson earlier this month.
With all of this Arsenal at his disposal do you think Pochettino can topple guardiola’s side or would it be a repeat of the fixture in December?