Over the past six matches, Tottenham have won 16 points from a possible eighteen, a record only beaten by one team, the visitors to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night, the rampant Manchester City.
Manchester City make the journey to the capital currently in explosive form in recent weeks, including putting four goals past Watford and Cardiff, five past Blackburn and six past West Ham. However since the sacking of Andre Villas Boas and the instalment of Tim Sherwood, Tottenham themselves haven’t been too shy in front of goal, scoring fifteen goals in their past eight matches, resulting in a match billed as a neutrals dream, expected to be packed with goals, let’s hope they’re not all in one end!
The seasons of the two sides can be summed up by comparing the fortunes of their two Spanish imports up front, with Alvaro Negredo joining Manchester City from Sevilla back in the Summer, with Robbie Soldado joining Tottenham from Valencia. Since their respective moves, Negredo has started sixteen matches in the premier league scoring nine goals and providing three assists. He has added a physical balance to Manchester City’s forward line, as well as provided the perfect strike partner for Manchester City talisman, Sergio Aguero. Meanwhile, Robbie Soldado has suffered contrasting fortunes, starting eighteen premier league games, scoring five goals, four of which coming from the penalty spot. His lack of cohesion with the rest of the Spurs side has seen him dropped to the bench in recent works to allow Emmanuel Adebayor to come in from the cold.
Key Man – Christian Eriksen:
The Danish attacking midfielder has flourished under Tim Sherwood, scoring in three of the past five premier league games, and bringing a creative flair to a midfield packed with strong, physical players. Eriksen’s versatility has been demonstrated in recent weeks, featuring as one of the midfield two in a flat 4-4-2, or out wide on the left in the same system, whilst also performing incredibly behind Emmanuel Adebayor in a 4-2-3-1 in the recent victory away at Swansea. Tottenham are likely to line-up to try and break down a Manchester City attack which has destroyed teams this season, therefore should we achieve anything on the other end of the pitch, Eriksen will be vital.
Key Man – Sergio Aguero:
The small Argentinian, recently retuning from injury, has scored six goals in four matches, resulting in a very impressive fourteen goals in sixteen premier league games as far this season. Despite these incredible statistics, Aguero has had to share the limelight with fellow striker, Alvaro Negredo, however due to the Spaniards injury worries, Aguero is likely to line-up either by himself or alongside Edin Dzeko, and if Manchester City meets expectations and trouble Tottenham’s defense, Aguero will hands down be the man to watch.
Despite struggling this season with very few of their players being completely injury free this year, Tottenham will welcome back a number of important players as a boost in the upcoming fixture. Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Sandro and Paulinho all played in Tottenham’s friendly with West Ham last week as they all attempt to return from injuries, whilst Andros Townsend played 45 minutes in a under 21’s match last week. Meanwhile, Manchester City are likely to be without two key players, in Spanish striker, Alvaro Negredo, who suffered an injury in their 4-2 victory over Watford in the F.A Cup, whilst Samir Nasri continues him recuperation from medial ligament damage to his left knee after Manchester City’s victory over Newcastle.
I believe we may continue in the 4-2-3-1 that worked so well against Swansea, who is known for keeping the ball, as will Manchester City and the sacrifice of one striker to add an extra man into midfield will be an option which Tim Sherwood will undoubtedly consider. Despite my inclusion of Sandro, Vertonghen and Townsend, all of who may not start due to only just returning from respective injuries, whilst it will be cruel to drop Nabil Bentaleb, who has performed very well, but in such a large match, a player such as Dembele or Paulinho would be a better option. I’m normally very pessimistic in terms of my predictions, and this week is no different, I would definitely take a point and continue our unbeaten streak under Sherwood, I predict a 2-2 draw, although a win would be rather nice.