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Tottenham out to dent Man City’s title hopes in North London

Tottenham will be looking to dent Man City’s title hopes and boost their chances of finishing in the top four when they meet in North London this afternoon.


Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to dent Manchester City’s title hopes and boost their chances of finishing in the top four when the two sides face-off in North London this afternoon.

Spurs will be without manager Antonio Conte in the dug out as the Italian is recovering from surgery back in his homeland after having his gallbladder removed. Assistant Cristian Stellini will take temporary charge of the team today.

Tottenham warmed up for the game with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Preston to book their place in the 5th round of the FA Cup last weekend. However, their focus will firmly be back on league matters as they try to close-in on the top four.

A narrow 1-0 victory at Fulham kept fifth-placed Spurs within touching distance of the Champions League qualification places. Newcastle’s surprise 1-1 draw with West Ham at St James’ Park on Saturday has opened the door for Tottenham as they are now just four points behind the Magpies. Victory over City today would see Tottenham close to within just one point – although they’d have played a game more.

Spurs will also be out to avenge their frustrating 4-2 defeat to Man City just two weeks ago. Tottenham raced into a 2-0 half-time lead but were blown away by the defending champions in the second half so they’ll want to make up for that implosion on home soil.

However, Manchester City arrive in the capital looking for a win to take advantage of Arsenal’s slip-up on Saturday. The league leaders slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park with Sean Dyche producing a master-class in his first game in charge of the Toffees since replacing Frank Lampard.

The Gunners’ defeat means City can close the gap at the top to just two points with a win over Tottenham. While they would have played a game more than Arsenal, many would feel City were still well placed and be favourites to retain the title if they could get themselves within just two points ahead of their top-of-the table clash at the Emirates Stadium in 10 days time.

How to watch

Obviously this game is the marquee fixture of the Premier League schedule this weekend and tickets will be extremely hard to get hold of. Spurs tickets have sold like hot cakes since they moved to their new Stadium. So it may be difficult to buy tickets through the official website but you may have more luck if you use a reputable ticket reselling site.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be attending the game in person, the good news is the match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. Subscribers will be able to watch all the action as it happens, kicking off at 4.30pm.

Porro to make debut?

Tottenham splashed out around £40m to sign attacking wing-back Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon on transfer deadline day. Conte wanted another option on the right flank after losing faith with Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty – who was released form his contract to join Atletico Madrid on a free transfer on Tuesday.

Porro has taken part in training with his new team mates at Hotspur Way but they’ll have to make a decision over whether he’s ready to start in a game of this magnitude just yet. Royal may be given the nod ahead of the Spaniard in the right wing-back position.

Elsewhere, Richarlison is back in contention after recovering from an adductor injury and Lucas Moura is also available again after returning from a niggling tendon problem. Midfielder Pape Sarr remains a doubt with a hip issue but Rodrigo Bentancur is fully fit to start in midfield alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg.

Hugo Lloris has come under severe scrutiny after a series of errors but the experienced French international is expected to keep his place in goal this weekend. Cristian Romero will marshall the Tottenham defence with Eric Dier and Ben Davies expected to join him. That means Davinson Sanchez will once again have to make do with a place on the bench.

Ivan Perisic should keep his place on the left flank with Ryan Sessegnon among the substitutes but it will be interesting to see who is selected in the front three. Hueng-min Son is returning to his best form after scoring two fine goals against Preston last time out so he should keep his place. Obviously Harry Kane will lead the line up front for Spurs as he looks to reach the incredible milestone of scoring 200 Premier League goals and surpass Jimmy Greaves on the all-time Tottenham goal scoring charts.

However, it remains to be seen who joins Kane and Son up front. Richarlison is back in contention and January signing Arnaut Danjuma is also pushing to feature. However, Dejan Kulusevski is probably favourite to start for Spurs today.

As for Manchester City, they won’t be able to call upon Joao Cancelo after he sealed a shock loan move to Bayern Munich on deadline day. Kyle Walker should start this afternoon while youngster Rico Lewis could also get the nod. Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte are also vying for starting sport in defence ahead of goalkeeper Ederson.

In midfield, we expect Kevin de Bruyne to keep his place and the Belgian will be looking to return to his best form. Rodri is also a guaranteed starter while Bernardo Silva is another option for Guardiola.

Phil Foden hasn’t featured recently due to illness so it remains to be seen whether he’ll be involved today. John Stones is out with a thigh injury but Jack Grealish is fully fit and should start in attack if Foden is out.

Rihad Mayrez is likely to keep his place on the right side of attack for Manchester City while Erling Haaland will be the danger-man through the middle. The Norwegian international has been sensational since arriving from Borussia Dortmund last summer and is running away with the top goal scorer award with 25 goals already – 9 ahead of Kane.


This is a fascinating game as both sides desperately need points and we should see another attacking game in north London. City blew Spurs away in the second half in the reverse fixture two weeks ago but Tottenham proved they can get at the Citizens defence so they’ll be quietly confident of getting a result on home soil.

Tottenham also have an excellent recent record at home versus Manchester City having won the last four meetings in the capitol so we don’t see them losing this game. However, it difficult to bet against Man City getting at least something from this match, so we’re going for a score draw. Tottenham 2-2 Man City

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