Educated Guesswork: Tottenham v Manchester City

A statistical view of the weekend's big clash between Tottenham Hotpsur and Manchester City

It’s the business end of the season now. Mistakes have consequences and slip ups become more costly with each game.

But as the end of the season draws closer – there are two battles taking place within the top 6 places in the premiership. The fight for 1st place between the two Manchester clubs (the result of which is surely inevitable) and the battle for the remaining Champions League places - with 4 teams in the hunt for two spots.

The fixtures this weekend overall could well have a massive impact on the final table – but very few games this season could potentially have more riding on them than the game at White Hart Lane on Sunday between Spurs and Man City. But on paper – who should come out on top?

Of the teams in the hunt for the Champions League places (Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs & Everton) – Tottenham’s recent form is without question the weakest as they are ranked 9th overall across their last 6 games.

However this figure is slightly deceptive because whilst their away form has been superb (they are ranked 2nd across their last 6 away games) they have been poor at home and are ranked 10th for their recent form. There has been talk of top scorer Gareth Bale returning for the match - but whilst the return of Bale could well boost the team – it’s worth remembering that this dip in form started before he was injured.

If (and that is a big if) Gareth Bale is risked for the match – I wouldn’t count on him having the impact that many Spurs fans would hope him to have. Whilst more defensively solid at home than away (but still conceding on average more than a goal a game) – Tottenham’s main problem has been their ability to score (or lack of it). On average Spurs score 1.5 goals a game at home.

When compared to the rest of the Premiership they rank as 10th in this department. If Tottenham miss out on the Champions League places again – it will have been their home form that has let them down.

Manchester City’s great form from the last 6 games lands them in 1st place in the form table. But whilst their recent home form places them 1st when ranked against the others, their away form places them as 4th after losing recent games to Southampton and Everton. City concede about a goal a game away from home - but they are also not big scorers either as they score on average 1.38 times per away game.

Suggesting that this game could be a close call goes without saying (partly due to importance and partly due to form). A draw suits neither side in their respective fight - but I get the feeling that both teams will cancel each other out in what could well become a very costly draw – especially for Spurs.

Score Prediction: 1-1

image: © hollidaypics

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