Men's Team

Haaland and Alvarez spearhead attack as City make five changes

Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez look likely to partner in attack for City against Spurs.

Alvarez is one of five changes Pep Guardiola makes from the 2-1 Manchester derby defeat last weekend.

Rico Lewis, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish also return.

Line-ups

CITY:  Ederson, Lewis, Stones, Akanji, Ake, Rodrigo, Gundogan (c), Grealish, Mahrez, Alvarez, Haaland

Subs: Ortega, Walker, Dias, Phillips, De Bruyne, Laporte, Bernardo, Foden, Cancelo

TOTTENHAM:: Lloris, Royal, Dier, Romero, Davies, Hojbjerg, Perisic, Bentancur, Son, Kulusevski, Kane.

Subs: Forster, Sanchez, Doherty, Sessegnon, Tanganga, Matar Sarr, Lenglet, Bissouma, Richarlison

Formation

Interestingly, Guardiola has swapped out the three players who played down the left against United this evening.

Perhaps the boss felt the balance wasn't right against the Reds or there was a touch of fatigue - but it looks likely that the Blues could go either 4-2-4 or 4-3-3 against Spurs.

Rico Lewis and Nathan Ake look set to play at right-back and left-back respectively, with the returning Stones alongside Manuel Akanji.

Ilkay Gundogan may be joined by Jack Grealish - with Rodrigo anchoring the midfield.

If that's the case, perhaps Riyad Mahrez and Alvarez will be wide of Haaland on either flank with a licence to get into the box as often as possible.

We will have to wait and see!

City looking to spark

There have undoubtedly been flashes of the brilliant, free-flowing football that City so often produce since the World Cup.

The Carabao Cup win over Liverpool, the win at Leeds and the FA Cup win over Chelsea were all City firing on all cylinders.

But getting a consistent run has not been easy, with the effects of 16 players at the World Cup perhaps playing its part.

This team is capable of anything and, as Pep Guardiola indicated at his last press conference, there are some teams we have faced who have played above and beyond their normal levels.

But Arsenal are yet to have a dip in form, so any dropped points by City have been punished by the Gunners.

Wins against Spurs and Wolves could be the spark City need to put together the kind of run we have become so used to over the past four or five seasons.

 

STATS, FACTS & MILESTONES

● City have lost four of their last five Premier League games against Tottenham (W1), as many as they had in their previous 19 against them (W12 D3).
● Tottenham won home and away against Manchester City in the Premier League last season, accounting for 67% of the Citizens’ total league defeats. They could become the first ever team to win three consecutive league games against a side managed by Pep Guardiola.
● Tottenham have won four of their last nine away league games against reigning top-flight champions (D2 L3), as many as they had in their previous 49 such games. Four of Man City’s 29 defeats as reigning Premier League champions have come against Tottenham – no side has beaten them more.
● City have failed to win both of their last two Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium (D1 L1); they last went three without a win at home in the league in December 2016 (a run of four), which remains the only time Pep Guardiola has failed to win 3+ consecutive home league matches in his managerial career.
● Tottenham have scored nine goals in their last three Premier League away games, two more than they had in their first six on the road this term (7). Following their 4-0 win at Crystal Palace last time out, they're looking to win consecutive away league games for the first time since April last season.
● City lost 2-1 at Manchester United last time out, last losing consecutive league games in December 2018. Having lost against Southampton in the League Cup before that, they could lose three in a row in all competitions within the same season for the first time since April 2018.
● City manager Pep Guardiola has lost six of his 15 meetings with Tottenham in all competitions (W7 D2) – he’s only lost more often against Chelsea (8), Liverpool (8) and Manchester United (7) in his managerial career.
● City manager Pep Guardiola has lost three of his five meetings with Tottenham’s Antonio Conte in all competitions (W2) – among managers he’s faced at least five times in his career (excl. Barcelona B), Conte is the only one he’s lost more than half of his games against (60%).
● City’s Erling Haaland has failed to score in his last two Premier League appearances, the first time he's gone more than one game without a goal in the competition. Only once in the big five European leagues has he gone 3+ games without scoring, a run of five with Borussia Dortmund between March and April last season.
● Tottenham striker Harry Kane is two goals away from becoming the third player to score 200 Premier League goals, along with Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208). Three of his four goals against Man City in the competition have been at the Etihad Stadium, including a brace in Spurs' 3-2 win last season.

 

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