Following another epic week of Premier League action, this weekend sees the two remaining unbeaten sides pitted against each other at the Etihad Stadium, Saturday, 5:30PM.
The winner will have the chance to leapfrog Arsenal and take first place before the Gunners play on Sunday. While the loser may be looking over their shoulder as Brighton and Man Utd have been in fine form these past few weeks.
Here’s everything you need to know heading into their epic clash…
City’s Superstar Striker
In recent years, this game has been headlined with the likes of Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero stealing the spotlight, but since the departure of Man City legend Aguero, the Blues have relied on a false 9 formation to create and finish their goals.
However, since making the big money signing of Erling Haaland this summer, all eyes have been transfixed on the Norwegian striker.
Topping the Premier League scoring charts with 10 goals from just the opening six games, managers, players, pundits and fans have all been lauding his praise, not only for his physical presence he brings to the Man City frontline, but also his standout speed – which was on display for City’s opening fixture against West Ham United.
Playing in a different way has given Pep Guardiola more options in how he can attack, and has also allowed Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gündogan and co. the chance to create multiple combinations in the same phase of play, with passes in behind and aerial crosses now a real threat.
This season they’ve shown glimpses of them at their full power: in the opener away to West Ham where they’ve struggled previously; putting four past Bournemouth and six past Nottingham Forest – both at the same venue.
Defensively they’ve come unstuck at times this year, most notably in their 3-3 draw away to Newcastle, having been 3-1 down at one point. Just six days later, Crystal Palace went 0-2 at the Etihad within half an hour. But a stunning hattrick from Haaland, backed up by a goal from Bernado Silva turned things around in the second half.
The Conte Effect
Spurs have also recorded four wins and two draws from their opening six games.
Having appointed Antonio Conte last November on an 18-month deal, the former Chelsea manager was bringing a huge managerial pedigree with him to the club with four Serie A titles, a Premier League trophy and FA Cup in his career.
Since joining Tottenham, his vision has been clear, and this summer he began to develop this current Spurs squad to his liking, spending over £150M.
They acquired Everton’s Richarlison for £52.2M, while also spending big on Atalanta’s Cristian Romero and Brighton’s Yves Bissouma to add to their star-studded team.
Up against Southampton on the opening weekend, goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier, Dejan Kulusevski and an own goal led them to a comfortable 4-1 victory.
The following game they faced their old London rivals in Chelsea, finishing it in dramatic style when Harry Kane’s 96th minute equaliser ended the tie 2-2.
With wins against Wolves, Forest and a 2-1 victory over Fulham last weekend, they’re currently sat one point adrift from Arsenal at the top, but behind Man City on goal difference.
What Happened Last Time?
The Etihad went through a rollercoaster of emotions last season, with the home fans thinking they’d snatched a point when Gündogan slotted home a penalty in injury time, only for Kane to take all three points back down south with a last-minute winner.
Both teams are in form but are still developing their new-look sides. If Haaland and de Bruyne can continue their electric partnership, Tottenham will be on the back foot. But as last year proves, Spurs always turn up at the Etihad.
Expect plenty of goals with Kane and Haaland involved! We’re going 3-2 to City this time round.
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JD Football | November 21, 2023