Tottenham Hotspur (9-7-8) vs. Manchester City (16-3-5)
Premier League: February 2, 2020 at 11:30 am ET (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)
Line and Odds: Tottenham +478/ Manchester City -176 — Over: -120/ Under +108
FREE EPL Pick Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City
Mourinho and Guardiola meet again in vital clash
Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City on Matchday 25 of the Premier League on Sunday. In what promises to be a blockbuster clash, the visitors will look to cut down leaders Liverpool’s lead back to 19 points while a home win could see the hosts jump three place to go fifth in the table. The clash will also see two of football’s greatest managers, Jose Mourinho who took over the reins from Mauricio Pochetinno at Spurs earlier this season and Pep Guardiola, the man who has already broken several record with this City side.
Mourinho’s men have struggled of late with just two wins in their last five matches. The run began with Tottenham losing 1-0 at home to Liverpool in the league despite a fighting performance. They then beat Middlesborough 2-1 in an FA Cup Replay fixture, but familiar problems popped up once again in a goalless draw to Watford, who find themselves in the relegation zone. Another uninspired performance followed in a 2-1 victory over Norwich – a match in which they just about scraped a result. They then drew 1-1 at Southampton in the FA Cup, meaning another Replay and another fixture for what looks a tired team already. More than the results, it has been Tottenham’s occasional lack of intensity and inability to deal with pace that will have the ‘Special One’ really worried. City pose a threat both on the counter and through balanced possession play and a Mourinho masterclass will be required if Spurs are to get a positive result at home.
Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, has definitely seen better times at the helm of Manchester City. Though the Citizens have won three and drawn just one out of their last five matches, with their only loss also proving inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things, this side look a shadow of the one that racked up a staggering 198 points in the last two league seasons and won the domestic treble last season. City’s last five matches began with a 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa at Villa Park, but Crystal Palace applied the breaks, grabbing a 2-2 draw at the Etihad. Guardiola’s men returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at Sheffield United in the league and raced to a 4-0 victory over Fulham at home in the FA Cup. They, however, lost to rivals Manchester United for the second time this season, 1-0 in mid-week in the second leg of their Carabao Cup tie. United’s win would prove a mere formality as a 3-1 first leg lead meant the Citizens made it through to the final of the cup once again. City remain in the running for both domestic cups and the Champions League, while they are mathematically still in the race for the Premier League title as well though they will not be counting on it. Guardiola’s men are marginally favorites going into this match and he will hope his side can deliver.
Cover The Spread 365 Premier League Betting Trends
– Tottenham are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Tottenham are 3-8-1 ATS at home in the Premier League this season.
– Tottenham are 12-8-4 O/U in the Premier League this season.
– Manchester City are 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Manchester City are 5-5-2 ATS away from home in the Premier League this season.
– Manchester City are 14-9-1 O/U in the Premier League this season.
FREE EPL Prediction Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
Last Time Out
The teams played out a draw in an absolutely scintillating clash at the Etihad earlier this season on Matchday 2 of the Premier League. City went ahead through Raheem Sterling, but Erik Lamela equalized for Spurs three minutes later. Sergio Aguero restored the hosts’ lead seven minutes later, meaning City were ahead at half-time. However, then Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino made an inspired substitution by bringing on Lucas Moura for Harry Winks and the forward scored in less than half a minute after being brought on to level the arrears. Gabriel Jesus thought he had won it for the hosts moments before the end, but the goal was chalked off by VAR after Aymeric Laporte was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.
City dominated proceedings, recording a whopping 30 shots and 10 on target while Spurs recorded just two shots on target, both of which bulged the back of the net. The figures came to nothing though; Guardiola was left frustrated while Pochettino’s side were extremely fortunate to take a point from the Etihad.
Dele Alli will be Spurs’ most important player. The Englishman has thrived under Mourinho after overcoming injury problems. Alli has seven goals and three assists this season and has come with the answer when Spurs have struggled. The 23-year-old will be hoping to secure a berth in the England squad for Euro 2020 and a strong performance here might really help him make a serious case.
Giovanni Lo Celso will be the other crucial component for Spurs. The Argentine has shone in recent weeks after a slow start to his Tottenham career. Lo Celso is proving to be an asset for Mourinho – not only can he control the tempo from midfield, the 23-year-old also tracks back to help defend and has brilliant vision along with an above-average shot in the final third. City will look to cut his creativity out and suffocate the space because they know Lo Celso can deal them some damage.
Kevin de Bruyne will undoubtedly be City’s most important player on Sunday. The Belgian has been absolutely phenomenal this season with seven goals and fifteen assists in the league so far. de Bruyne will be hoping to supply the goods once again from midfield and help Guardiola get one over Mourinho at Tottenham.
Sergio Aguero will also be expected to come good. The centre-forward has picked up 16 goals in the league from just 13 matches. Injuries have marred his season a bit but he has still showcased his quality when given the chance. Aguero will be looking to add to his goal-tally and move up the goalscorers chart as he closes in on top-scorer Jamie Vardy.
Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko are out with long-term injuries, while Ben Davies is also carrying a knock and will be unavailable. It remains to be seen if new signing Steven Bergwijn will feature in any capacity for Mourinho’s men.
Predicted Line-up: Lloris; Tanganga, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Tanganga; Gedson, Ndombele, Alli; Son, Lucas, Lo Celso.
Leroy Sane is still unavailable for selection, while Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte face late fitness-tests. Fernandinho is also a doubt for this fixture.
Predicted Line-up: Ederson; Laporte, Otamendi, Fernandinho; Mendy, Rodri, de Bruyne, Walker; Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez.