Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur: Five Key Battles

Gareth Bale

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are both under pressure to get results this weekend as they prepare to face each other.

Here are five key battles to keep an eye on throughout the match. 

Vincent Kompany v Jermain Defoe

This is a bit of a battle between the big and the small. Vincent Kompany is a big, powerful defender and captain of Manchester City who always likes to lead from the front. The reason Jermain Defoe should look to get into a battle with him is because if he can come out on top, it will dent the City defence. Defoe has the pace and the trickery necessary to make a player like Kompany come out of position which creates space for the likes of Gareth Bale cutting inside.

Matija Nastasic v Gareth Bale

With Maicon and Micah Richards both injured, it means that Nastasic will be given the task of playing the right full back role. In front of him will be arguably the best left sided winger in the world in Gareth Bale. Bale will try and use all of his pace to get beyond the full back or to cut inside and go for gaps in the centre of the City defence. Bale is slightly less effective running down towards the corner flag so this is how Nastasic should be looking to deal with the winger.

Samir Nasri v Sandro

Samir Nasri has to try and get on the ball frequently because there is no David Silva at the moment due to injury. The job of Sandro is quite simple, he has to follow Nasri around the pitch closing him down when he gets possession and using his physical presence to upset the Frenchman. Sandro is not a delicate player so expect a couple of heavy challenges and possibly a yellow card but Spurs will take this if it means Nasri has a reduced impact on the game.

Carlos Tevez v William Gallas

Carlos Tevez is one of the leaders in the Manchester City team and he should be chomping at the bit to show the side that he will lead from the front. Tevez needs to be slippery, slimy, skilful and elusive as he tries to get the better of William Gallas who commonly plays on the side of the defence that Tevez occupies. Gallas doesn’t have the same level of pace but in terms of his defensive position and the time he gives himself, there are few better in the Premier League.

Mario Balotelli v Steven Caulker

If Tevez does start then expect to see Balotelli at the very top of the City attack. He will be looking to push the Spurs defence back and Steven Caulker is the only Spurs defender in the centre with the pace to match him. Caulker needs to play a little bit beyond his years and ensure that the Spurs defence does not drop too deep inside their own area which is where Balotelli is in his prime.

images: © dullhunk, © Jan S0L0

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