Match: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (Premier League)
Venue: Tottenham Stadium
Time: 18:30 (Saturday, November 21)
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City is not just about the teams involved but about the football managers that will be dishing out instructions on the sideline. Tottenham Hotspur’s players will depend on coach Jose Mourinho for the tactical input required to win the match; while Manchester City’s players will be looking up to Pep Guardiola for the extra touch.
Both coaches are arguably the most decorated coaches that are still very active in the business and they have been age-long rivals especially in Spanish La Liga and the Premier League. Mourinho and Guardiola have both gone head to head in El Clasicos and Manchester derbies and Guardiola has so far inflicted a total of 10 defeats on Mourinho which is the highest number of defeats the Portuguese tactician has ever suffered from any other coach.
With that in mind, tonight’s encounter will not just be played on the pitch, it will be lost, won, or drawn from the bench and it will depend on the team selection, the formation, and the general approach both coaches may decide to adopt in the game.
Though Pep Guardiola has enjoyed more victories in his meetings with Jose Mourinho, Tottenham’s fans will be going into this match with the smile that the last time both coaches met on February 2, 2020, Mourinho’s Tottenham conquered Guardiola’s City 2-0.
Then, Tottenham was not enjoying the kind of form they have been enjoying since the commencement of the 2020-2021 season where they have enjoyed 5 victories, one draw, and just a defeat in 8 league games.
The season has been so good to them that they are currently sitting second on the league table with 17 points and a victory tonight will lift them to the first spot for at least until Sunday.
On the other hand, Guardiola is meeting with Mourinho when Manchester City is having one of their worse starts of the season in recent years. The club has drawn three games, won three, and lost one in 7 games.
This performance has kept City in the 10th spot with 12 points. The only advantage the club has is that they still have a game in hand which they could win (after winning tonight’s game) to lift them to title-winning position on the table since they are just 6 points away from the first placed Leicester City.
Any team that wins tonight’s game will give the club’s fans more reason to believe that their team is a league title contender. Mourinho and his men know this because their performance so far has already triggered high expectations in the hearts of the club’s fans that the club might finally win their first Premier League title.
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form: DWDWWW
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WWLWWW
Manchester City Premier League form: LDWDWD
Manchester City form (all competitions): WDWWWD
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City: Team News – Manchester City
On Thursday, November 19, the coach of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola signed a two-year contract extension with the club which means that the tactician will be going into tonight’s game with a renewed vigor.
On the other hand, Manchester City might be without their top forward Raheem Sterling because he sustained a calf injury while on international duty with England. But Jose Mourinho confirmed (mischievously) that Sterling will play the game.
The club almost suffered a huge setback when it was first announced that the club’s defender Nathan Ake was down with a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Netherlands. However, recent reports suggest that it is a minor knock and he might be fit enough for the game.
One big news for City’s fans is that the club’s all-time highest goalscorer, Sergio Aguero is back and he is likely to be selected for today’s game. However, he might start from the bench since his current strike-rival at the club, Gabriel Jesus is fully fit for the match.
On the flip side, Mourinho will be hoping that Aguero is not fit enough for the game because he enjoys scoring against Tottenham. He has scored about 11 goals against the club so far in his career which is the second-highest amount of goals he has scored against a Premier League team.
However, in his last 9 meetings with Tottenham, he has managed to find the back of the net once which could be a great relief for the club’s fans.
Manchester City probable starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Torres, Jesus, Sterling
Team News – Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho will go into today’s game without Matt Doherty who was confirmed coronavirus positive while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. It almost got worse for Tottenham when pictures surfaced that the club’s loanee Gareth Bale was in close contact with Doherty before he tested positive for the virus. Luckily for the club, Bale returned a negative result when he was tested for the virus which means that he will be available for the match.
Meanwhile, it is not too certain that Steven Bergwijn will be available for tonight’s game as he could not represent the Netherlands due to fitness problems. However, things would have changed for him and Mourinho might deem him fit enough for the game.
Tanguy Ndombele has fully recovered from a foot injury and might be in action tonight but the club will not have the services of Erik Lamela who is still battling a foot injury.
Tottenham Hotspur probable starting lineup:
Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Bale, Lo Celso, Son; Kane