Tottenham Hotspurs v Manchester City – Two Different Ambitions, One Definitive Result will Lead to a Dream being Shattered; A Match Preview, Stats Corner, Team News & H2H



Six matches remain, one team trying desperate to regain their Top 4 space. While the other still clinging on the slim belief of reclaiming the title, which would emulate yet another dramatic finish to the Premier League. Two different Dreams would be on line at White Hart Lane today; a win for Spurs would squash the slim belief for City, while a win for City would peg Spurs back on their quest to claim European Football for yet another season.

To put Spurs season in a word, they have been inconsistent. Shakiness at the beginning led by a much needed solidity gave us an impression; they were going to cruise to top 3 in ease. But time and time again, Spurs have had their final third season blues affect their performances. Just when the clocks enter the final 10 minutes of the match and many claim this to be Manchester United’s familiar territory, the final third of the season is Spurs’ familiar territory for consistently being thwarted by other teams to move ahead of them to claim a top 4 spot. This has been a recurring problem right from Redknapp’s regime to now Villas Boas’ regime; be it Injuries, be it out of form players, Spurs have a prolific attacking team in Dembele-Huddlestone-Dempsey-Sigurdsson-Adebayor, despite the absence of their star player Gareth Bale.

Bale and Defoe - Over Reliance on them, costing Villas Boas dearly
Bale and Defoe – Over Relying on them costs Villas Boas dearly a European Spot during their absence

The potential over reliance upon Defoe-Lennon-Bale when the storm was calm with not much match practice for the above quintet of attackers has been Villas Boas’ downfall in their quest for Top 4. Thus, Spurs once again find themselves in the familiar territory where they find need to win each of their last 6 matches to keep in within touching distance of their London Rivals Chelsea and Arsenal. Lloris, their French goal custodian has a certain responsibility for being inconsistent in their previous 7 to 8 matches, as he hasn’t lived to his potentials making mistakes which are just unacceptable from a goal keeper of his calibre. Things could only get better for the Frenchman, taking it is just his 1st season in premier league and he can look up to the Spaniard David De Gea to improve much.

If there was one team that could have won it all with their current squad, if not in Europe atleast in England, fingers would point towards the side that their luxurious manager Roberto Mancini has. But, such has been the case they have been an example for the famous quote that “football is not played on paper”. Definitely, last season’s physicality in winning the league on the last whistle had taken a toll on some of their players like Aguero. When the season started, they never looked a side that jelled together, looked like a side much in confusion with the tactics that their manager was playing upon. And to take a final blow, the pressure of being knocked out of Europe for twice in two years had got into the team and their manager, thus allowing Manchester United to take an unassailable 13 point lead that they currently find themselves to catch up with.

City's best player this season - 11 goals & 7 assists in Premier League
City’s best player this season – 11 goals & 7 assists in Premier League

Any other result other than a victory would put City either 16 (or) 12 points behind United and would give United a chance to close out the title tomorrow night when they take on a relegation threatened Aston Villa at Old Trafford. This is the sole reason why City have everything to play for, the potential delaying of the title charge for United and create a few jitters as their Assistant coach Brian Kidd has mentioned “the title is not over yet. It is United’s to lose”. To spice up things, the Citizens are having their most prolific run of form this season with wins against New Castle, Manchester United and Chelsea twice on route.

Stats Corner

  • Last time Spurs won against Manchester City was way back in May 2010 when they won 1-0 during Harry Redknapp’s glorious reign.
  • Since then, Spurs have come agonizingly close when Bale had the chance to take a lead after they were 2-2 level, just for Mario Balotelli to slot home the winner from the penalty spot.
  • Manchester City thrashed Spurs 5-1 last season in the same fixture, with Edin Dzeko scoring 4 times to make it a memorable night for the Citizens.
  • Gareth Bale has scored 17 times in premier league this season, second best being 10 goals from Defoe.
  • Dzeko, Tevez and Aguero have all got into double figures scoring 12, 11 and 10 times respectively sharing the goal scoring burden unlike the Londoners.
  • Both Spurs and City have played 16 matches each at Home and Away this season, in which both City have won just 8 times each away from home and Spurs have won just 8 times at home this season.

Team News

Tottenham Hotspurs:

Spurs’ star player Gareth Bale looks set to return to the action after being sidelined for 2 weeks with an ankle injury that he incurred during their 2-2 Europa League match against Basel at home. The Winger Aaron Lennon has still not returned to training after a knee injury, but their manager Villas Boas thinks he can still make the starting lineup. While the usual absentees are Sandro with Knee injury and Younes Kaboul with a thigh injury.

Tottenham (from): Lloris, Friedel, Walker, Naughton, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Holtby, Livermore, Dembele, Carroll, Parker, Ceballos, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Lennon, Dempsey, Bale, Adebayor, Defoe, Coulthirst.

Manchester City:

Sergio Aguero and David Silva are doubtful because of their Hamstring Problems. Although Micah Richards made a successful comeback in the midweek, Maicon and  Rodwell could be back in contention for the match.

Manchester City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Maicon, Richards, Kompany, Nastasic, Lescott, K Toure, Kolarov, Clichy, Sinclair, Milner, Nasri, Barry, Y Toure, Garcia, Rodwell, Silva, Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, Razak.


Manchester City look the firm favorites going ahead into the match having won 5 of their last 6 games and having that confidence freshen up on them. But given their inability this season to close out away matches, we could be in for a cracking tie tonight. While Spurs are looking jaded and down, the return of their star player could only boost them to go outright for a win, anything less than that would be another step down for Villas Boas’ team in their quest for European Dream! Tottenham could take a leaf out of Everton’s book to stage a victory against the Citizens.

Tottenham Hotspurs 2 – 1 Manchester City 

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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