Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City Preview: Guardiola’s men look
to make it three wins on the bounce on poor Wembley surface
Photo: VAVEL

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City Preview: Guardiola’s men look to make it three wins on the bounce on poor Wembley surface

Tottenham Hostpur will host Manchester City on Monday night at Wembley, with both sides desperate for three points as it begins to heat up at the top of the table.

Josh Slinger

Tottenham Hostpur have had a mixed start to the season, sitting well amongst the heat of the action at the top of the Premier League, with a point potentially taking the Lily Whites two points off top spot after 10 games.

Although, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have had a torrid time of it in the UEFA Champions League, with further disappointment in the week as they could only take a point against PSV Eindhoven.

As for Manchester City, it's been a near-perfect start to the season, following a title-winning campaign last time around. A win will take Pep Guardiola’s men back to the top of the league, although it will be no easy task against a Spurs side with the ability to beat anyone on their day.

Pitch problems

The condition of the Wembley pitch has been a talking point throughout a lot of the start of this season, with many feeling it isn’t up to the standard that it should be.

To make it even worse, a day before this game gets underway, an NFL matchup between Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles will take place.

When Wembley first opened just over ten years ago, a lot was said about the state of the pitch and how woeful it was, this is the first time since then that it has received a real abundance of criticism, and is simply down to the sheer number of games that are featuring on the surface.

A factor in team selection?

Kevin de Bruyne and Dele Alli are two players who could be set for their first Premier League starts since overcoming injury, although doubts have been raised over this, as a poor pitch could trigger further injury issues.

De Bruyne has raised his concerns over the pitch, whilst both managers have given their opinion, firstly Guardiola stated "It is what it is. I am sure Tottenham have a good groundsman. Hopefully Tottenham can finish their stadium as quickly as possible, but it is not necessary to complain. We have to adapt."

Spurs boss Pochettino gave his thoughts, "It wasn't the plan but we need to accept the reality, we hope that the weather will be good and not kill the pitch and we can play in a very good condition.”

As for further injury concerns, the home side will be without key men Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose, as they continue to receive treatment.

Guardiola’s team will be without long-term absentee Claudio Bravo, whilst Danilo, Fabian Delph and Ilkay Gundogan are all doubtful.

Tottenham Hotspur predicted XI: Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Dier, Dembele, Lucas, Eriksen, Son; Kane.

Manchester City predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Mendy; Fernandinho, David Silva, Bernardo Silva; Mahrez, Sane, Aguero.

Spurs' record against City

Down the years, Spurs have had some memorable moments against the Blues, beating them at the Etihad to qualify ahead of them for the Champions League, defeating them at White Hart Lane to deny them the title, as well as fighting back to earn a point from two goals down as recently as two seasons ago.

Despite this, since really getting his feet under the table at City, Guardiola has been able to inflict a lot of pain upon the Londoners, beating them convincingly home and away last season, adding to the unwanted poor record against City of winning just four games in 15 previous encounters.

Adding more stats into the equation could read for more positive reading for the home side, as they are unbeaten in their last nine games played on a Monday night, including an emphatic 3-0 victory at Old Trafford earlier this season, although City are unbeaten on their last six trips to London, winning five of those games.

Despite all this, everybody knows that games aren’t won on paper, and this clash between two of the top five has the potential to be one of the games of the weekend, as well as possibly one of the games of the season as Guardiola’s side look to remain unbeaten, whilst Spurs look to get themselves into the title race.