Match Preview, Tottenham vs Manchester City.

Match date & time: Sunday 3rd May 2015. 4 pm Kick Off (UK Time).

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings can be found HERE.

After a good win away at Newcastle, and a decent point shared at St Mary’s with Southampton, our attention turns to Manchester City back home at White Hart Lane. Last season’s Premier League champions visit the Lane knowing that the title is out of their reach this season, and are fighting for second place in the League with Arsenal and Manchester United, with top four places looking sown up for the Gunners, United and City, it’s just the internal battles that have to be decided for who eventually does finish second, third and fourth. Our form has been patchy recently and our football hasn’t been mesmerising but it has been effective at times and results have come our way, but heading into a match with a side that has the quality that Manchester City do, we’re going to have to step it up to the next level; we have made quite a few individual errors defensively recently which has lead to goals, and against a side like Manchester City who already create lots of good chances to score themselves, helping them do that is the opposite of what we need to be doing. If we can become more decisive on the ball in midfield, and less ponderous in the final third, then we can cause a sometimes-shaky Manchester City defence problems. It’s just our own ability in defence to keep out the likes of Sergio Aguero that will be questioned.

Manchester City sit second in the Premier League heading into this weekend’s fixtures, level on points with Arsenal and just two ahead of neighbours Manchester United. Their talent is well documented and ability to dismantle teams evident – they have fantastic individual players, but at times those individual players don’t come together as a functional team, and this season the Sky Blues haven’t hit the heights that a side spending the money they are, should and settling for second place and no trophies simply isn’t good enough for them, and they know that – well, the fans certainly do. Coming into this match Manchester City haven’t set the world alight, with six wins and four losses in their last 10 Premier League fixtures, those disappointing losses coming against Liverpool, Burnley, Crystal Palace and rivals Manchester United – these results show that this current City side is more than beatable, and if you can impose your game onto them they can crumble even against the likes of Burnley and Crystal Palace. Hopefully we can add another loss to Manchester City’s current form at the Lane this Sunday.

In their last game, City were once again unconvincing; scraping past Aston Villa at the Etihad 3-2. After going 2-0 ahead, the Blues lost a grip on their lead and allowed Villa back into the game 2-2, before scoring a late and scrappy goal to secure victory despite a lack of concentration and professionalism – this is just another example that Manchester City are beatable this season. In our last match with Man City, we fell to a 4-1 defeat at the Etihad despite playing a decent game – Sergio Aguero was on fire and hit all four goals, while Christian Eriksen scored ours and Roberto Soldado missed a crucial penalty. At the Lane the story isn’t much better as we lost by even worse score line. A 5-1 thrashing, with Sergio Aguero on target once again, as City had five different scorers that night – Edin Dzeko, Vincent Kompany, Stefan Jovetic, Yaya Toure and of course Aguero. A dodgy penalty decision and a frustrating red card to Danny Rose that definitely shouldn’t have been given, just added to our misery aiding the Sky Blues. It wasn’t a nice night by any means. Manchester City have lost all of their last four Premier League away games, and we have the potential to make that five, taking advantage of City’s poor away form!

The team news for Manchester City is that three of the scorers in City’s last visit to the Lane Yaya Toure (hamstring), Vincent Kompany (thigh) and Stefan Jovetic (muscular) are out injured – while two former Arsenal men Samir Nasri (muscular) and Gael Clichy (muscular) look set to return to action for City. This just shows the strength of their squad, and why our task to beat them at White Hart Lane isn’t an easy one – although I am sure that they will miss the strength and guile of Yaya Toure in midfield as well as they leadership of captain Vincent Kompany in defence. The threats that Manchester City have are in attack – with Premier League top goalscorer Sergio Aguero the top dog in Manchester – with his clinical nature and work rate he is a nightmare for defenders, with his mind working that one second quicker than anyone else’s on the pitch, making him that bit better than anyone else. He’s the favourite for the golden boot ahead of Harry Kane, so I’m hoping we can keep him out while getting Kane to knock some in! It’s not just Aguero that makes defences squeal, it’s his partner in crime David Silva – who has cemented himself as one of the Premier League’s best in recent years, and the way he runs with ball and passes it is a joy to watch – but hopefully he can’t hit full gear against us this Sunday.
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The team news for Tottenham is that Ben Davies (shoulder) and Kyle Walker (foot) have both been ruled out for the remainder of the season. But the good news is that Danny Rose (hamstring) has recovered from his knock and is back in contention to play against Manchester City – which is great news for us defensively and offensively – have a read about my thoughts on Danny’s impressive season HERE. This means that other than Davies and Walker we have a full squad to choose from and it gives Mauricio Pochettino the chance to really go for it in this match, and play with real freedom. We’re not playing for much in terms of League position, so it would be good to see us go out and give it all for the pride of the football club – to be able to boast victories over the soon to be elected Champions Chelsea, bitter rivals Arsenal and star studded Manchester City would be fantastic – and highlight a real change in mentality around the club in these big matches.

PFA Young Player of the Year – Harry Kane – it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? There are no more words to describe the season he has had this year so I’m just going to repeat myself. Amazing, remarkable, wonderful. Earning the golden boot ahead of Aguero would be the cherry on top of the cake that’s already been scattered with sprinkles and rainbows in the chapter of Harry Kane’s personal season – it’d be brilliant and he most definitely deserves it – and a few goals against Manchester City would be just perfect, I mean, come on Harry you didn’t score in your last game, your standards are slipping! I’m hoping we can get a couple more Harry Kane shows in before the end of the season – they’re great. With two goals in his last two games, Nacer Chadli is back in form and back in the goals, which is great news for us. He may not be the most agile and fast winger in the world but he’s effective and he does add yet another important goal threat to our side, really improving on his finishing this season. I’ve been very impressed with the Belgian and it’d be great if he could make that two in two, three in three against City! In midfield, Nabil Bentaleb has earned himself two man of the match awards in a row as voted on the official Spurs website, and he has been brilliant – his passing, tackling and enthusiasm as always has been there for all to see and if he can continue to perform the way he has and improve even further, we have a real talent on our hands – and at the moment, in the absence of Yaya Toure for City, Bentaleb could be the key to controlling the midfield and therefore the game for us this Sunday. Defensively, Bentaleb and Mason are going to have to be very aware of David Silva and not allow him to get in behind them and cause us too many problems – because a player like Silva only really needs one chance to tear defences apart with his passing.

Match stats provided by StatsZone:

– Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League outings.

– Manchester City have won seven and lost just one of the last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Spurs.

– Manuel Pellegrini has seen his side score 15 goals in their last three Premier League games against Spurs and at least four in each match.

– Sergio Aguero has netted nine goals in six Premier League appearances against Spurs.

– Edin Dzeko has scored six goals in six Premier League matches against Tottenham, though four of them came in one game, a 5-1 win at White Hart Lane.

– Samir Nasri has scored four Premier League goals against Tottenham Hotspur, more than against any other opponent in the competition.

– When these two sides met back in October, four penalties were awarded in a Premier League game for only the second time (Bradford v Derby, April 2000).

– Christian Eriksen has scored the most winning goals in the Premier League this season (7).

– Spurs have taken fewer points than any other team in the head to heads between the top six teams going into this weekend (8).

– City have lost their last four Premier League away games in a row. They haven’t lost five on the bounce since April 2006.

Prediction data collected through the Forza Football app:

Tottenham Hotspur win: 39%.

Manchester City win: 51%.

Draw: 11%.

It’s an intriguing match. With recent form firmly in Manchester City’s favour, we’ll be hoping to change that with a win at White Hart Lane. We know it won’t be easy but I think it will be a much tighter game than in the past – I really hope I’m right! The game is live on Sky Sports 1, but I will be providing updates including fast goal updates, photos, videos and much more from my twitter account, follow me here @AddictedToSpurs! Also, get the best Spurs images with my Instagram account, follow me here: addictedtospurs. I’m looking forward to this one. Let’s get three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face Manchester City at the Lane:
Yedlin – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli

Mauricio Pochettino speaks ahead of the match against Manchester City:

I spoke with the official Manchester City site about the big game, read my thoughts in this Q&A HERE.

Another article to have a read of is on my site, and it’s about Danny Rose’s impressive season, find it HERE.
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And finally, I had an exclusive interview with rising Tottenham star Joshua Onomah on his development, Tottenham and more. Read it HERE.

Match Review, Manchester City vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 18th October 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Etihad Stadium.

Result: Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham.

Manchester City GoalScorers: Sergio Aguero x4. 13′, 20′, 68′, 75′.

Tottenham GoalScorer: Christian Eriksen 15′.

Well, an absolutely mental game that didn’t go our way whatsoever. The effort from Tottenham was there, we were looking sharp in attack, fairly solid in defence and were more-or-less matching Manchester City stride for stride, but when push came to shove, Manchester City had a World Class finisher and we didn’t. It’s been the story far too often for Tottenham in recent years. We seem to get the chances but the ball doesn’t seem to just fall in the net like it does for the teams who face us. It’s difficult to take, but we have to look at the positives here. We didn’t deserve to lose 4-1. Far from it. The game is full of ifs and buts, and if things had taken a different path in the key moments, I think we would have come away with a point at least. Penalties were those key moments, and the referee didn’t have a good game, at all. In the big moments he let us down. 3 penalties given to Manchester City, when does that ever happen?! But, if we don’t look at those decisions, I have to be relatively happy with our general performance.

There were four penalties given in this game, which was madness. In my opinion, only 2 should have been given, and if the others hadn’t have occurred then maybe other penalties aren’t given. It’s frustrating. A game of ifs and buts, though. The reality is we have come out losing 4-1 and that is very disappointing, even if the performance didn’t deserve that kind of trouncing. We need to be more clinical when we get the chances, whether that is Roberto Soldado or Emmanuel Adebayor, but we can’t just completely blame Soldado who did play relatively well. For me, in the next game Harry Kane must play, he is the only striker that at the moment can find the back of the net, work hard, and hold the ball up. It’s a must, and I hope Pochettino can see this sooner rather than later. I believe that we can have a good season and when we play the top teams we do need to get points. A win in the next fixture against the ‘big 4’ would be great!

There were quite a few good performances out on the pitch for Tottenham. Especially up until the 68th minute, because we were right in the game until Aguero’s third goal. Christian Eriksen played probably his best game of the season, getting a goal and he probably could have scored more and assisted another couple! I think these goals that he is scoring will give him a lot of confidence to improve even further this season and become our most important outfield player once again. Ryan Mason has only played a few Premier League games in his career but he has looked like an ever present so far this season, he is calm in possession, but also effective in his work, runs and passing. He always looks forward and is a typical Tottenham youth product who knows the values of the club and the way we like to play, he has a massive future with Tottenham and played very, very well in this game. Hugo Lloris was also great, but I’m sure even if you didn’t watch the game, you already could have guessed that! As well as there were good performances, there were also disappointing ones. I expected more from Erik Lamela, he will know he hasn’t been as effective as he can be and he doesn’t need to be sugar coated or abused, he needs constructive criticism. When he is on the ball, he needs to work it quicker, and find more defence splitting passes – sometimes, the easy ball is the best option, though, and running aimlessly won’t help. When the opportunity to shoot arises, take the opportunity! There is an extremely talented player in Lamela’s body but it is struggling to reach the surface. That first Premier League goal, whether a tap in, a deflection or an absolute stunner will help him though, he needs that soon now.

Difficult to take this result when we didn’t play terribly. Now, we have a good run of fixtures coming up and we need to take loads of points from them, including our games in the Europa League, and getting through to the next round in the Capital One Cup. I’m optimistic at our chances of having a good season; I believe in the squad we have and the manager. Next up, it’s Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League on Thursday 23rd October at White Hart Lane. Then, a return to Premier League action at home to Newcastle United on Sunday 26th October at the Lane. Let’s take positives from a loss and go and get some points in our next fixtures! COYS!!

Player ratings for the team that faced Manchester City:
Lloris – 8.5
Dier – 6
Kaboul – 5.5
Fazio – 5
Rose – 6
Mason – 8 – Man of the Match.
Capoue – 6.5
Lamela – 5.5
Eriksen – 8
Chadli – 6
Soldado – 6.

Dembele – 5
Townsend – 5
Vertonghen – 5.

Mauricio Pochettino post match interview:

Match Preview, Manchester City vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 18th October 2014. 12:45pm KO BST.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Etihad Stadium.

TV: Live on BT Sport 1. World Wide TV listings HERE.

After a long, drawn out international break – Premier League football returns and we certainly won’t be eased back in… The test of Premier League champions Manchester City awaits at the Etihad Stadium, a place nightmares were born last season with a 6-0 defeat. There is no good time to face Manchester City at the Etihad – so this is as good as any. The Tottenham team will have to perform to their maximum & beyond to get the three points that we all crave against the Champions, but it is possible and we have shown our mettle before this season – and now we’ll be looking for that again. No doubt that Manchester City are an incredibly talented, strong and devastating outfit, and at home they are very, very difficult to beat, but on the day of the game you just don’t know what is going to happen, and we’ve beaten them before at the Etihad, despite that being before they hit the heights of winning the League, but we can do it again, and take inspiration from that 1-0 win from Crouch’s header, and also more recently Stoke’s 1-0 win at the Etihad earlier this season. It is possible that we get all three points, but of course, it will need to be a performance full of togetherness, strong mentality and a clinical nature when we get the chances.

Manchester City are a wonderful team with so much quality throughout their squad, we all know how tough this game will be for us. Manchester City sit in 2nd place in the Premier League table with 7 games gone, they have 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss – 14 points. A steady start to the season with their high standards, with the loss coming to Stoke City at home 1-0, and the 2 draws coming against Arsenal and Chelsea. The City team have been performing to a good level, but I think they are yet to reach their swashbuckling best as of yet. Tottenham sit in 6th place in the Premier League, only 3 points off of Manchester City in 2nd, and that tells you how tight this Premier League is and will be in the future. A win for Tottenham makes our start to the season extremely pleasing and I think gives us a massive lift to go on and really achieve this season – but we have an incredibly difficult task ahead of us and we need to put in a massive team performance to get a victory.

The team news for Manchester City is that Samir Nasri (groin) and Eliaquim Mangala (thigh) have been ruled out of the game. Yaya Toure had been touted by the press to be rested in this game after the international break with Ivory Coast, but Pellegrini has brushed that rumour aside, saying he’s likely to play. Other than that, they have a fully fit squad.

It is difficult to pick out just one big threat from the Manchester City team, but I would say that Sergio Aguero, when fit and firing, is the Premier League’s best striker and gives every defence problems every game that he plays, he has 5 goals in 7 Premier League appearances which shows his clinical nature when given the opportunity. Behind him, David Silva provides the creative spark – one of the best players in the Premier League, and best ‘number 10s’ in the World, he can slip the ball between the defence and find an opening you didn’t think was there, he provides the perfect ying to Aguero’s yang and they work very well together. In midfield, Frank Lampard has a very good record against Tottenham when he played at Chelsea, and now after his switch to New York City, and loan deal to Manchester City, he is still in the goals and looks totally settled in Manchester, with his goal Scoring ability not leaving his side.

The team news for Tottenham is that Kyle Walker (abdominal) and Kyle Naughton (ankle) are out of the game, with Nacer Chadli (hip) and Hugo Lloris (groin) minor doubts, but fully expected to make the team after being such crucial players for us so far this season. Other doubts include Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb, who have returned late after international duty with Togo and Algeria respectively, but I’d expect both to be fine for the game.

As I’ve said, we’ll need a mammoth team performance to get 3 points and maybe even 1 point, so our players will have to be on top form. I think our problem so far this season has been our lack of clinical edge in front of goal; we create the chances to score but don’t finish them and kill teams off unlike teams such as Chelsea & Manchester City, this is the difference between the top 4 and top 6, our ability to score goals and kill games. A lot of our hope relies on Emmanuel Adebayor finding form again, he hasn’t been able to hit the back of the net like he did in the second half of last season, and his hold up play has also been rather suspect to criticism. But, against his former club, and the inspiration 2 wins with his national team Togo will give him, now’s the perfect time for him to start banging them in again! If Adebayor isn’t available due to getting back late from international duty, I’d give Harry Kane the opportunity up top, his work rate and eye for goal at the moment means he does deserve a shot in the Premier League at some point. In midfield, I think Etienne Capoue has been outstanding so far this season, he is very secure defensively, and passes the ball very well to start attacks and has become a key player to Pochettino’s system; against Manchester City we will definitely need him on top form to help us nullify their attacking threat in midfield, tracking the runs of Lampard, Toure, Silva etc and stopping them in their tracks on the ball, it’ll be a tough afternoon for Etienne but he has the ability to really make the difference in midfield. I’d pick out Capoue vs Toure as the key battle in this game, apart from Aguero vs Lloris! Christian Eriksen was the match winner last time out against Southampton, and I’m hoping he can now push on after that, then match and improve on his form last season, he’s very important for us.

Match stats & facts provided by Opta:

– Manchester City have won six of their last seven Premier League meetings with Tottenham Hotspur (L1).

– Tottenham have secured 20 wins against Manchester City in the Premier League; only against Everton (20) have they won as many.

– The last six Premier League games between Man City and Spurs have produced 30 goals (five per game on average), with City scoring 22 of these goals.

– Edin Dzeko has scored six goals in six Premier League games against Spurs; more than versus any other opponent. Four of these goals came in one game (August 2011).

– Sergio Aguero has netted five goals in five PL apps against Tottenham; only against Norwich City (5) has he scored as many in the competition.

– Man City have gone two home games without a win in the Premier League (L1 D1). The last time that they went three PL home games without a victory was back in November 2010 (L1 D2).

– Tottenham have won just three of their last 11 Premier League away matches (W3 D4 L4); this after winning their previous five on the road in succession.

– Manchester City scored 11 goals in their two Premier League games against Spurs in 2013-14. The last team to score more in a single PL season versus one opponent were Spurs against Wigan in 2009-10 (12 goals).

– Spurs lost 0-6 against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in November 2013. This is their joint heaviest defeat in Premier League history (6-0 v Sheffield United in March 1993 and 7-1 v Newcastle United in December 1996).

– Christian Eriksen has only been involved in five goals (three goals, two assists) in 13 away appearances in the Premier League, compared to 12 goals in 19 PL apps at White Hart Lane (six goals, six assists).

I believe this game will be much closer than in previous times, there is no doubt it will be truly difficult but if we can show a similar mentality to the one we showed against Arsenal in the 1-1 draw we can get something from this game. Pochettino has a fairly good record against Manchester City and I trust in him to set the team out in the correct way to suffocate their attacking threat, but also hurt them with ours. I’m looking forward to Tottenham being back in action! The game is live on BT Sport at 12:45pm, but I’ll be giving live updates, photos, videos and more on my Twitter account, follow me there: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Manchester City at the Etihad:
Dier – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Mason
Lamela – Chadli – Eriksen

Mauricio Pochettino’s pre match press conference:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Manchester City. (Or ramblings of a mad man)

Match: Wednesday 29th January 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City.

Where to start. An absolute farce of a match, ruined by the people that took charge of the game, not by the players actually playing the game. I feel like I’ve been robbed, the officials have made an absolute mockery of the match and have ruined what had the potential to be a classic game between two in-form sides in the Premier League. I’m not going to go through every decision that the officials got wrong, because there are simply too many to count. But the two that ruined the game is what I am incensed about. Michael Dawson’s ‘offside’ goal, was quite clearly onside, possibly a difficult decision for the linesman but he didn’t know either way and I believe he guessed, and that is a disgrace. If Dawson’s goal is given we go 1-1 and are right in the game. Then, Danny Rose’s sending off and the giving of the penalty to make it 2-0, Danny clearly gets the ball and the same assistant that gave the offside goal gives the penalty when the referee was going to wave it away. Surely, surely there is something going on here because I don’t see this as coincidence.

To say this is a disgrace to the Premier League is an understatement. These officials need looking into by the FA as soon as possible and to rescind Danny Rose’s red card at the very minimum. When even Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City fans agree it’s a wrong decision you know you are right to feel hard done by.

As for the performance, I think we were poor early on but grew into the game as time went on, then all hell broke loose and the game was beyond us. No team can beat Manchester City at the moment, they are so ruthless in attack that with 10 men it is impossible. I don’t judge any player or Tim Sherwood from this match. We deserved better. There is no doubt about that. My man of the match goes to Hugo Lloris, what a player. Even conceding 5 goals he was insane. Etienne Capoue also did really well once coming on and Danny Rose while on the field had a fine game, hopefully his red card is taken away.

This is all a bit in the heat of the moment! I’m a little bit angry as you can see!! I feel robbed.

Our next game is against Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday 1st February, kick off at 3pm. We need to bounce back! COYS!!


Match Preview, Tottenham vs Manchester City.

Match date & time: Wednesday 29th January. Kick off 7:45pm.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Competition: Premier League.

TV: Live on BT Sport 1.

Tim Sherwood’s biggest test to date as Tottenham Head Coach awaits, there aren’t many, if any better than Manchester City in the Premier League and last time we faced them under AVB, we got a thrashing at the Etihad 0-6, which was our most disappointing display of the season in my opinion, even though Manchester City roll over most teams, I expected more from the team. This time out, I expect to put up a real fight and if we do that and don’t roll over, I’ll be pleased because we are still developing under Sherwood and know that Manchester City are in an unreal vain of form. Last time we faced Manchester City at the Lane, we won 3-1, Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale on the score-sheet in one of our best victories of last season, the Lane was electric and so was our performance in the last 20 minutes, it feels like an age ago now though. We need a big, big performance in our biggest game of the season at White Hart Lane, along with needing a performance from the players, the fans at the Lane need to make it rock and help the players along the way, we’re here to support and want the best, so make it as easy as possible for Spurs and as hard as possible for Manchester City! I expect it to be a very open game, we play a very offensive game and so do Manchester City, so the game I expect to be decided on the best offensive display, rather than the best defensive display. A clean sheet would be nice though!

Manchester City are in incredible form, sitting in 2nd place only 1 point off the top, having won the last SEVEN Premier League games on the trot, irresistible both at the back and offensively. At home, they are unbeatable in the Premier League, rolling teams over week after week after week, but away from home they are not as irresistible. Loses to Aston Villa, Sunderland and Cardiff away from home have stopped City being top of the table, it shows it’s not impossible to beat them, even though they have thoroughly improved their poor away from of late. The team news for Manchester City is that Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and David Silva are fit and back for the game at the Lane. Whereas Samir Nasri, James Milner and Javi Garcia are definitely out of the game. There are a host of players from Manchester City that can hurt us. Stopping Alvaro Negredo is good, but then you have to stop Sergio Aguero, then Yaya Toure, it’s incredible the amount of good players who can score goals. Vincent Kompany at the back gives City stability, but if they do have a weakness it’s Demichellis, Emmanuel Adebayor has a real chance if he can take advantage of Demichellis, who I think is a poor defender.

The team news for Spurs is very, very encouraging. Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Paulinho and Sandro are all in contention to play a part against Manchester City, but remain doubts as they continue their recovery from injuries. Disappointing news is that Andros Townsend (hamstring) and Erik Lamela (thigh) have been ruled out of the game. The big decision is whether or not to continue with the 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 formation, or switch back to 4-4-2 and re-include Roberto Soldado in the team alongside Emmanuel Adebayor and switch Christian Eriksen back to the left hand side. With our limited options on the left hand side, I think Sherwood will re-visit the 4-4-2 formation so that Eriksen can play there. Hopefully Soldado can show the link up play that he has been brilliant at, at points this season, and a scoring touch wouldn’t go amiss either, it’s crucial he puts in a good performance if he starts. If Soldado doesn’t start, Jermain Defoe is the other option to start alongside Emmanuel Adebayor. In midfield, the decision is whether or not to play young Nabil Bentaleb, or play the more experienced Etienne Capoue or ‘risk’ playing Sandro as a deep lying midfield player. I expect Sherwood to stick with Nabil and put his trust in him once again after some terrific performances, especially against Swansea and Crystal Palace. At the back, it’s difficult to judge how fit Jan Vertonghen is, but if he’s fit enough he has to start – in my opinion, it should be Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches if Jan is fit enough. Both have the agility and defensive nature to deal (kind of) with Aguero and Negredo, and can give us quick passes into the midfield to start attacks. We’ll see if Super Jan can make it, I hope he does!

Match Stats and Facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Tottenham have won seven and lost just one of their last 10 Barclays Premier League home games against Man City.

– Sergio Aguero has scored 13 goals in his last 12 Barclays Premier League apps and has four in four against Spurs.

– Spurs have scored first in their last five matches.

– In the reverse fixture back in November, Spurs fired in 13 shots to Man City’s 15, but lost 0-6 at the Etihad Stadium.

– Manchester City have scored with 21.2% of their shots this season, the best chance conversion rate in the Barclays Premier League this season.

– Spurs have had Over 2.5 goals in their last five matches against Man City.

– If the league had started after Tim Sherwood took charge of Spurs, Manchester City would be top with 18 points and the Londoners would be second with 16.

– Spurs have conceded just one headed goal this season, fewer than any other team in the top flight.

– Edin Dzeko has scored in three of his last four Premier League appearances and has five in five against Tottenham; more than against any other club.

– Man City have won five and lost just one of the last seven Premier League games against Tottenham Hotspur.

– Spurs have won their last four matches.

– 19 different Spurs players have been shown a yellow card this season, more than any other club in the top flight.

– With five goals, Emmanuel Adebayor has matched his Premier League goals total from last season (in seven games this season compared to 25 in 2012-13).

Massive game! Let’s get some pride back after that thrashing at the Etihad. We need a big performance from every single player, let’s get behind the lads and make it a special evening at the Lane. COYS!!

My predicted team to face Manchester City at White Hart Lane:
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Rose
Lennon – Dembele – Bentaleb – Eriksen
Adebayor – Soldado

Tim Sherwood’s full pre Manchester City press conference:

Match Preview, Manchester City vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 24th November 2013.

Premier League

Finally we return to action, for what has felt like an age after our abysmal defeat to Newcastle at the Lane, we have the chance to redeem ourselves; and what better way to do it with a win at the Etihad? It’s not been the easiest start to the season, with a struggle for goals and three dreadful defeats to Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle, but there has been a shimmer of light, with some good performances, so it’s not all bad, especially away from home where we have been exceptional in most matches. Defensively we are solid, so now we just have to find a way of getting that round thing in that rectangular thing, it can’t be that hard… No easy games in the Premier League, we figured that out the hard way, twice, but this is an extremely big challenge for us, to try to beat Manchester City on their own turf is something that hasn’t been done at all this season, and that’s the same with getting a draw, it’s normally a foregone conclusion Manchester City win, but, that’s what they said about Manchester United last season, and we went there, did the impossible and got the win. Anything is possible as the old saying goes, so let’s, in the words of Sandro ‘Win, win, win.’

Manchester City have not had a very convincing start to the season, sitting in a disappointing 8th position in the league, 1 point behind Spurs in 7th, scoring 19 more goals… While having a 100% record at the Etihad so far this season, their away form has let them down only winning 17% of their 6 games, losing 67%. But we visit the Etihad, so their away form really doesn’t matter to us, but neither should their home form, because we have an outstanding away record, winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 1, conceding only 1 goal in the process, the best in Europe. So we go there without fear, but with confidence. Manchester City are missing some important players for Sunday’s clash; Vincent Kompany their captain is out through injury, along with David Silva another key player and talented striker Stefan Jovetic, so that’s a plus, even though the players to replace them are world class too! Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Alvaro Negredo have been in scintillating form this season, and will the players we need to contain if we want any chance of winning the game.

Erik Lamela. Sandro. Lloris. All must start against Man City on Sunday in my view, Lamela is high on confidence and we need the creativity to score more goals and break down a resolute Manchester City defence at the Etihad, while we need Sandro to break up the play and contain the threat of the brilliant Yaya Toure, Sandro has become one of our most important players in my opinion, and Lloris speaks for himself, we missed him so much against Newcastle and now he’s fit there is no doubt he’ll be in the starting 11. The team news is positive, with the whole squad available for the game on Sunday except for Christian Eriksen (4 weeks) and Danny Rose (2-3 weeks), which means Vlad Chiriches, Nacer Chadli, Ezequiel Fryers, Hugo Lloris and Emmanuel Adebayor are fit and in contention for a start. With Danny Rose still out with injury, I expect to see Jan Vertonghen continue his job at left back, with Vlad Chiriches and Michael Dawson continuing to build their partnership at centre back. As Christian Eriksen is out with an ankle injury, Lewis Holtby is expected to start and I feel that’s the right decision, Lewis has been good for us so far this season and we need that to continue, with an even bigger performance on Sunday. I would like to see Andros Townsend switch to the left hand side, with Erik Lamela fitting in on the right, I think that’s what we will see in the future, so with Lamela high on confidence I believe it’s the right time to see how it could work.

Match Stats ahead of our game with Man City provided by FourFourTwo

– No Barclays Premier League ground has seen more goals scored this season so far than the Etihad Stadium (22).

– The last time that Tottenham failed to score in three successive Barclays Premier League matches was back in January 2009.

– Of the 114 different players to have scored at least 40 Premier League goals, only Thierry Henry (122) has a better minutes per goal average than Sergio Aguero (123) in the competition.

– Man City have lost seven of the 26 Premier League games that Vincent Kompany hasn’t started since the start of 2011-12 (27%), compared to just 13% (8 of 61) when he’s started.

– No side has seen fewer players score a Premier League goal this season than Tottenham (4).

– Eden Dzeko has scored more goals against Tottenham Hotspur than any other side in the Premier League (5). Four of these came in a single game; Manchester City’s 5-1 defeat of Spurs at White Hart Lane in August 2011.

– 14 of the 18 goals scored in the last four Premier League meetings between these two sides have been netted in the second half.

– Tottenham have won the same number of points away from home this season as they have at White Hart Lane (10), this despite playing one game less away.

– Spurs have attempted the most shots a goal this season (157 – excluding blocked), but have the worst shot conversion rate (5.7%).

– Tottenham Hotspur have made the most long throws in the Premier League this season (120) – at least 45 more than any other side.

My preferred team to face Manchester City at the Etihad:
Walker – Dawson – Chriches – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Townsend

AVB talks to the press ahead of Sunday’s clash with City:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Manchester City

Tottenham 3-1 Manchester City
Dempsey 75′. Nasri 5′
Defoe 79′
Bale 82′

Great win, unbelievable. We thrashed the champions, and that feels awesome, but even better is that we have a really great chance of making the top four. In a game that we were the underdogs, we came out on top, it’s the Spurs way! Man City are a really good side, they deserved the lead in the first half, but our second half performance was absolutely awesome. The subs that AVB made changed the game, he’s a blooming genius. Both teams in Manchester, destroyed.

Gareth Bale was awesome, he started slowly, but then he really got into the game, showed his quality. World Class. Clint Dempsey put in a great performance, worked hard throughout the game, and when he got his opportunity, he took it well, doesn’t deserve the criticism he gets. Tommy Huddlestone came on, and changed the game, once again, his passing is immaculate, playing really well at the moment. Lewis Holtby came on and he really played well, probably the best we’ve seen of him so far, his little flicks and passes really helped our cause today. Jermain is back in the goals! He did exactly what we needed him to do, get a goal, and boy did he take it well! Top four is in our sights, we can do this. Our next game is against Wigan at the DW Stadium. Must win. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against Man City at the Lane:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 8
Dawson – 8
Vertonghen – 8
Assou-Ekotto – 7
Dempsey – 8
Parker – 6
Dembélé – 8
Sigurdsson – 8
Bale – 9 Man of the Match
Adebayor – 4

Holtby – 8
Huddlestone – 9
Defoe – 8

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Manchester City

Massive game, Manchester City are a quality side, with some world class players, and they will be really hard to beat, but we have to try, it’s crucial for our top four hopes. We haven’t been in the best of form, but we have been without our best players, and now that the like of Bale, Lennon and Defoe are back from injury, I think we can be back to our best, and get a result. Man City have lost the title in my opinion, but they will continue to fight, we have to make it final that they have lost out.

Gareth Bale is back in contention to start against City, and he’s obviously a massive player for us, if he can start and put in a performance, it will make beating a top team like City easier, we’ve missed his quality massively. Aaron Lennon is also back, and he’s just as crucial to our team as Bale, he gives us an option out wide that we need in games, will really help our cause to win the game. Jermain Defoe is back in the squad, and that’s great news, he is a natural goalscorer, and if we need a goal, he can be brought on and make an impact, or if he starts, he will be a threat. Defensively, we need to perform, we’ve been bad in defence recently, so we need to up it against the top strikers that City have. We can do it, get behind the team, lets fight and get all three points. The game is televised, it is live from 1pm on Sky Sports. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Manchester City at the Lane:
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembélé – Sigurdsson

Match Review, Manchester City vs Tottenham

This was a game that we weren’t expecting to win, but we wanted to get something from it at least, like with any game. Our first half performance was brilliant, we were in front and looked like we could possibly do something amazing. Manchester City’s second half performance was so much better than their first, they passed the ball well and it was only a matter of time before they equalised. We then tried to defend and hold on to a draw, but a quality goal prevented us from that. The game had a lot of positives but the opposition were just a class above us on the day.

I thought that Adebayor was top class, he did everything but score. Gareth Bale slowly came into the game but it was too late to make an impact. Having Sandro back is brilliant and he was fantastic in the game. I was surprised that we didn’t play 4-4-2 as it really worked against Maribor, but I can see us using 4-2-3-1 away from home and 4-4-2 at the Lane. Improvements have to be made, but I think there is still a massive chance of us winning the game in the North London derby. It was a tough game at the Etihad Stadium but our performance was not in any way shameful. Our next game is in the Premier League against the team across the road, massive. COYS!!

My player ratings vs Manchester City:
Friedel – 8
Walker – 7
Gallas – 7
Caulker – 8
Vertonghen – 7
Lennon – 8
Sandro – 9
Huddlestone – 7
Bale – 7
Dempsey – 7
Adebayor – 9 man of the match

Match Preview, Manchester City vs Tottenham

This is going to be a massive test for the team, Manchester City are a world class team, and even though they aren’t on top form they will test us to our limit. They haven’t been scoring goals like they did last season but they are still a massive threat going forward, their striking options are phenomenal, the likes of Aguero, Tevez and Balotelli will hurt any team. I expect it to be an open game, and if we get the likes of Bale and Lennon on the ball we can definitely score goals. To beat both the Manchester teams will be something the fans will remember for a long time,and I’m quietly confident we can do it.

I’m sure that Adebayor will be fired up and ready to put in a a good performance, that is if we play 4-4-2, I’m not sure we will but I do want us to as we played brilliantly like that against Maribor. Bale will have to be on top form and so will Lennon, this is when we play at our best. Dembele is still out, this will be a big miss for us as ever, but I think Carroll could come into the side because he had a fantastic game against Maribor, maybe it’s time that he got his opportunity in the Premier League. But yet Sandro and Huddlestone are a good partnership, and I think it’s probable this will be the partnership to play. It’s a big game, and I’m sure all the players will be right up for it. COYS!!

My preferred team vs Manchester City:
Walker – Gallas – Caulker – Vertonghen
Lennon – Huddlestone – Sandro – Bale
Adebayor – Defoe