FA CUP

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STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW Fri: Tottenham v Man City

The FA Cup is a competition that can lead to incredible matchups between teams at the top and bottom of the football pyramid, but Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with defending champions Manchester City is arguably the pick of the Fourth Round ties this Friday.

Spurs edged past Burnley (1-0) in their third-round tie whilst City enjoyed a 5-0 cruise past Huddersfield Town, and the two have been in Premier League action since, with Manchester City staging an impressive o Kevin De Bruyne based comeback at St James’s Park to beat Newcastle 3-2 whilst Tottenham shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

We know what to expect from Spurs, who have been great entertainers under Ange Postecoglou this season – a gung-ho attacking performance and plenty of intent. The hosts have scored 44 league goals – four more than their tally at the same stage of last season despite Harry Kane’s departure – and they’ve scored in their last 33 Premier League games.

Their recent scoring charge is led by Richarlison, who’s scored six goals in his last seven appearances, and his link up with Dejan Kulusevski (missed United with illness but expected to return) and the pacey Brennan Johnson can give city a repeat of the problems they suffered in a thrilling 3-3 draw when the two sides met in the Premier League.

However, Spurs won’t be as strong tonight due to a mix of injury and international duty. Heung-Min Son, Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma are away with their national sides, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon are injured and whilst James Maddison has returned to training, it would be as surprise if he was to start considering the length of his injury.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
FA Cup Fourth Round
19:45 S4C HD BBC iPlayer S4C Online

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
DEC 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham
JAN 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City
FEB 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-3 Tottenham
AUG 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City
APR 2021 EFL CUP FINAL Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham
FEB 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-0 Tottenham
NOV 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City
FEB 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City
AUG 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham

That could open the door for City – who are still missing Erling Haaland – to take advantage. Pep Guardiola’s men have access to John Stones and Ederson again even if they may not start and talisman Kevin De Bruyne has had two clear weeks of training after his brilliant cameo against Newcastle.

In Haaland’s absence, City have been able to call upon Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva, whilst Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku also provide wide options for Guardiola to attack Spurs’ high line with.

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Their record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is wretched – they’ve lost their last four in North London, and have not found the net in five games here – but key absences for the hosts and a more open game should suit them much more than previous games have, and their strength in depth can see them through what could be a blockbuster tie.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


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