Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho renew their rivalry once again as Manchester City host Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
City are on a 15-game winning streak in all competitions currently, including ten in Premier League games where they have conceded just two goals in that time. Spurs, on the other hand, have lost four of their last five games in all competitions and were taken to extra-time in midweek in a crazy FA Cup tie against Everton.
With 14 points separating table toppers City and eighth place Spurs, let’s preview a huge game with European implications.
When is kick off? Saturday 13 February
What time is kick off? 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it played? Etihad Stadium
TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Premier League (UK), fuboT (US)
Referee? Paul Tierney
VAR? Peter Bankes
Guardiola’s squad has been struck by injuries and illness this season, but he’s finally getting players back to fitness now. Kevin De Bruyne is still sidelined and isn’t expected to make this game, but Sergio Aguero is back in training after suffering from COVID-19.
Ruben Dias missed their FA Cup win over Swansea with a fever and stomach problems, while Fernandinho had a quad issue. Rodri limped off in the game after a heavy tackle, but is expected to be fit and available to start.
Tottenham’s injury issues are a bit better, but they’re expected to still be without Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso. Mourinho revealed that Eric Dier is suffering from ‘a crisis of confidence’, so Joe Rodon should start alongside Toby Alderweireld, despite Davinson Sanchez’s two goals against Everton.
Harry Kane returned from injury against West Brom and got on the scoresheet, before doing the same against Everton as a substitute and should start again here. Gareth Bale will be assessed ahead of the game after missing the cup loss.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Foden
Tottenham: Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Rodon, Davies; Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Ndombele; Lamela, Kane, Son
Swansea 1-3 Man City (10/2)
Liverpool 1-4 Man City (7/2)
Burnley 0-2 Man City (3/2)
Man City 1-0 Sheffield Utd (30/1)
West Brom 0-5 Man City (26/1)
Everton 5-4 Tottenham – AET (10/2)
Tottenham 2-0 West Brom (7/2)
Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea (4/2)
Brighton 1-0 Tottenham (31/1)
Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool (28/1)
Spurs are unbeaten in the last three meetings between these sides, winning each of the last two fixtures 2-0.
Mourinho will be hoping to feed from those results here to motivate his side to get back on the winning trail, but Guardiola’s men are in relentless form. They’re scoring goals for fun and the only two goals they’ve conceded in the league on this run were an injury time consolation against Chelsea and a penalty to Liverpool.
With all the momentum on the side of the league leaders, it’s hard to see this game going any other way than a win for City. They’re solid at both ends and Mourinho’s approach to these games hasn’t given Spurs the best chance of scoring goals recently, so it could end up being a relatively comfortable night for the hosts.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Tottenham