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, 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: