Men's Team

Grealish set for City Premier League bow in Spurs opener

Jack Grealish is handed his Premier League debut for City in today’s 2021/22 season opener away at Tottenham Hotspur.

Our summer signing from Aston Villa makes his first City start at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having been named on the bench for last weekend’s Community Shield clash with Leicester.

Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan also feature in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up with Nathan Ake again partnering Ruben Dias at centre half and skipper Fernandinho the holding midfielder

Kevin De Bruyne is amongst those named on the substitutes' bench with Kyle Walker and John Stones also amongst the replacements following their exploits at EURO 2020 alongside Gabriel Jesus who featured for Brazil at the Copa America.


SPURS: Lloris, Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Skipp, Hjojberg, Bergwijn, Alli, Moura, Son

Subs: Doherty, Romero, Winks, Gil, Sissoko, Lo Selso, Gollini, Davies, Scarlett

CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Mendy, Fernandinho (c), Gundogan, Grealish, Sterling, Torres, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Stones, Jesus, Zinchenko, Laporte, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo


As is often the case with Guardiola, we will have to wait until kick-off to see how City shape up, but it looks as if we could line up in a 4-3-3 formation.

Ederson starts in goal shielded by a back four of Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Benjamin Mendy

Fernandinho is set to be deployed as the defensive midfield shield with Gundogan and Grealish also likely to operate in the engine room.

The attacking trident is likely to consist of Sterling, Ferran Torres and Riyad Mahrez.

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First footing

City will kick-off the new Premier League season seeking to maintain what has become a remarkable record on opening day over the past decade.

You have to go all the way back to the 2010/11 season for the last time we failed to take all three points on Matchday One of the Premier League.

Ironically, Spurs were our opponents that day too, City coming away from White Hart Lane with a 0-0 draw.

Since then, City’s quality and consistency has seen us emerge triumphant from every subsequent Premier League opener.

Indeed, City can set a new top-flight record on Sunday of 11 successive victories in our opening match of the season, surpassing Aston Villa's run from 1891-92 to 1900-01.

However, maintaining that impressive record will be far from easy against a Spurs side who will be keen to impress under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

And the presence of a Premier League full house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since Match 2020 will also add to the challenge.

But with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all making winning starts earlier this weekend, another successful opening day result would be more than welcome!

Match stats


  • After winning only three of the first 27 Premier League meetings, City have won 13 of the past 21.
  • Spurs are yet to concede a goal in their three successive wins over City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions. City manager Pep Guardiola has never lost four away games in a row to one opponent in his managerial career.


  • When City lost 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 21 November, we were 11th in the table and eight points behind league leaders Spurs. We finished the season six places and 24 points above Tottenham.
  • City can set a new top-flight record on Sunday of 11 successive victories in their opening match of the season, surpassing Aston Villa's run from 1891-92 to 1900-01.
  • City last failed to win our opening fixture of a Premier League season when we drew 0-0 against Spurs at White Hart Lane in 2010-11. We haven't lost their opening match of a top-flight season since 2008-09, when we were beaten at Villa.
  • Manager Pep Guardiola has lost four away matches against Spurs, the joint most of his managerial career along defeats at Chelsea and Liverpool.
  • Among managers to take charge of at least four matches on MD1 in Premier League history, City’s Pep Guardiola is the only manager to win all such games, winning five out of five while seeing City score 14 goals across those games.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • This will be Nuno Espirito Santo's first game as Tottenham manager. Andre Villas-Boas is the only one of Spurs' last six bosses (including caretakers) not to win his first Premier League match in charge.
  • Tottenham have only won five of their past 17 Premier League matches without Harry Kane. One of those victories was 2-0 at home to Manchester City in February 2020.
  • If Hugo Lloris plays, he will equal Darren Anderton's club record of 299 Premier League appearances.
  • Son Heung-min has scored six goals in all competitions against Manchester City, including in all three meetings at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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