Tottenham will be keen to avoid a repeat of last season's disastrous visit to the Etihad Stadium in the weekend's early kick-off as Mauricio Pochettino takes his side to the North West to take on Champions Manchester City
To be played on Saturday 18th October 2014 at 12:45. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Last season: 6-0
Preview & injury news
It may be early on in the season, but it does feel as if this game is significant for both sides. After the Etihad Stadium was fortress last season, City have dropped as many points at home this season as they did during the entire campaign last term, whilst Spurs are looking to put some demons to rest after being thumped in both meetings with this weekend's opponents last season.
City are currently in pursuit of Chelsea, five points behind the pace-setters at this early stage of the season, and really don't want to give any more ground to them, given the knack that Jose Mourinho's sides have for fast starts to campaigns, and behind able to hold of the rest of the competition. They will want to keep the pressure on as they look to claim a third Premier League crown in four years.
For Spurs, their start to the season hasn't been unreasonable. They're in amongst the pack who are chasing the Champions League places - level on points with fourth-placed Manchester United and have had some encouraging performances in recent weeks against Arsenal and Southampton. They were two fixtures which could have easily inflicted some misery upon them, and they came out with positive results - four points is a decent return.
In terms of team news, it is unclear whether Yaya Toure will start the game after his involvement on international duty with the Ivory Coast but with Fernandinho out of Saturday's game with a hamstring injury, Manuel Pellegrini will want his talismanic midfielder available. Samir Nasri is not expected back until at least next week after a groin problem.
Tottenham are sweating on the fitness of Nacer Chadli after he sustained a hip injury on international duty with Belgium but there are reports suggesting that he is winning the race to be fit for the trip to the North West. There are also doubts surrounding the fitness of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but nothing much has been said about that in recent days. The chances are that Mauricio Pochettino will give the Frenchman every chance to be fit for the game. Right-backs Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker are ruled out, but the latter may be available again in December after a pelvis problem has prevented him from much action since March.
|Possession Percentage||Total Scoring Attempts per game||Accurate Passing %||Error Lead To Shot||Tackles won %||Played|
If the statistics are anything to go by we are likely to see both sides have possession for lengthy periods, given that on average they have had the Lion's share of the play, with a high percentage of accurate passes. However, it would seem that City possess greater attacking threat, and it will be the main reasons they are considered favourites for this encounter, but Tottenham's high percentage of tackles won compared to the Champions gives the impression this won't be a walkover like last season's encounter.
5 players to watch
Fernando - With Fernandinho likely to be out of the side, and suggestions that Yaya Toure won't start, it is going to be a big game for Fernando. The chances are he will be in a battle to keep the likes of Erik Lamela and, if fit, Nacer Chadli quiet.
Nacer Chadli - If Chadli is fit for the game on Saturday, it would provide a welcome boost for the visitors given he has been their in-form player so far this season. Chadli has been a terrific scoring threat so far this season, and will look to continue his good run.
Jesus Navas - Navas gave Spurs a torrid time in both games last season, and Manuel Pellegrini will be looking to the Spaniard to produce more the same this time around, as City will look to start the game at a high tempo and intensity. Navas's end product could be crucial.
Younes Kaboul - It is the newly-appointed captain's job to make sure that their defence doesn't crumble like it did last season. Kaboul needs to lead and make sure concentration levels are high at the back against a side with formidable attacking qualities.
Frank Lampard - Lampard seems to be playing a little more than a bit-part role at the Etihad, and may feature heavily in the middle of the park in this game. He has demonstrated his goal threat already, and will look to continue his impressive form this weekend.
Last time they met
Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City, Premier League, January 2014
A scintillating display from the visitors but it did have a touch of controversy to go with it. An intense first half saw Sergio Aguero put the visitors ahead with a well-taken finish after 15 mins but Michael Dawson had a goal chalked off for offside from a set-piece. It remained fairly tight until the second half, when Danny Rose was adjudged to have fouled Edin Dzeko in the penalty area resulting in Rose's dismissal, and Yaya Toure putting the visitors 2-0 up. Dzeko made it three with a cool tap in high into the net before Etienne Capoue pulled one back for the home side. Steven Jovetic got on the scoresheet with a deflected effort before Vincent Kompany rounded off the scoring, sending City to the top of the Premier League - a point clear of Arsenal.