Of the 98 teams in Europe’s top-ranked leagues, only one – Manchester City – are still in with a shot of winning each trophy they’ve competed for this season. The fact that we are in April and still able to write that is a remarkable testament to the quality of Pep Guardiola’s side but their place in the Champions League is at risk with Tottenham holding a 1-0 lead heading into tonight’s second leg.
It was always going to be tough to get a result from Spurs’ new stadium but the sheer speed and coordination of Spurs’ pressing was immaculate, with Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min clamping anything that moved down the flanks as Dele Alli reduced Fernandinho’s influence.
Last week Guardiola, perhaps wanting to keep the tie in the balance until tonight’s second leg, was more conservative than normal, with Kevin de Bruyne dropped and then brought on in the remaining minutes, whilst Fabian Delph played alongside Fernandinho too in what as a rather unusual approach.
Tonight will be a much more attacking approach and the market expects home turf to prove all the difference, but things might not be that simple. Last season City went off favourites in the 90-minute market against Liverpool when trying to turn around a 3-0 deficit, took a 2nd minute lead and lost 2-1.
This is a different task, as they do not have so much chasing to do, but if Tottenham manage to score once then City will need three goals and whilst if any side is capable, they are, of breaking down this Spurs defence in such a situation it is an extremely tall task – even for Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and David Silva.
Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose were all tremendous last week and Hugo Lloris’ penalty save last week (along with another clean sheet since) should give him plenty of confidence after a tough couple of weeks. They will present an intimidating rearguard for City to break down from the first minute tonight.
A potential season-ending injury to Harry Kane is a blow, but Spurs have coped without him for long periods of time already this season. There were four Premier League wins without Kane in the team after he was injured against Manchester United, plus a hugely impressive first-leg win against Borussia Dortmund in the last 16. Heung Min-Son scored in four straight games after Kane was injured plus the winning goal last week and with Erisken and Alli in midfield, and the potential for Lucas Moura – who scored a hat-trick against Huddersfield at the weekend – to play on the break is immense.
Man City v Tottenham Hotspur
UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg
20:00 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
APR 2019 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 0-1 Manchester City
APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-3 Manchester City
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham
OCT 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City
FEB 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham
SEP 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 4-1 Manchester City
MAY 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 0-1 Manchester City
OCT 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham
JAN 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City
NOV 2013 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham
City are absolutely capable of turning this round, but Tottenham are just 13/20 to score with starsports.bet and that will leave City needing three goals. It is hard to see why, in such a specific situation, they are as big as 17/2, but it is impossible to ignore 20/21 on a two goal handicap, which wins as long as City don’t win by more than one.
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