The Premier League is back with a bang on Saturday with Spurs v Man City clearly the pick of the games. It is still early days but this contest has the potential to have a big impact on the title race and we could come to look back on it as a big moment in the 2020/21 season, report agencies.
With injuries building up to ridiculous levels at champions Liverpool, both sides will have increasing optimism about making a title run.
Tottenham fans probably wouldn’t have expected to be thinking of such possibilities back in September but eight games in they sit just a point off the pace of leaders Leicester, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference. Their only loss came on the opening day to Everton.
A title challenge is always expected these days at City and they come into the game six points behind the Foxes. They do, however, have a game in hand. This fixture last season saw Tottenham run out 2-0 winners, Spurs having drawn 2-2 at the Etihad under Mauricio Pochettino in August. That first game saw the Premier League’s first big VAR controversy – what would have been a late City winner being chalked off due to the ball brushing Aymeric Laporte’s arm in the build-up.
The games were notable for their expected goals figures. Despite claiming four points from them, Spurs lost by a combined xG tally of 6.45-0.49, showing how City largely dominated in terms of chance creation.
Last season’s victory is one of four wins for Spurs in their last six home meetings with City, games played at three different stadiums – the old White Hart Lane, Wembley and their current, new ground. At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as we should officially call it, City have lost two out of two and are yet to score a goal. Four of those six matches have seen under 2.5 goals. The same statistic can be applied to the six most recent meetings of the sides, be they in London or Manchester.
Aguero may well be fit enough to feature in this contest. If so, he’ll be looking to score his 13th goal against Spurs – he has only scored more against Newcastle and Chelsea in his career. Raheem Sterling, expected to be fit having missed England’s recent Nations League games, also has a strong record against Spurs – he has six goals in 12 games for City in this fixture. Against only Watford and Bournemouth does he have a greater tally.
On the Tottenham side of things, it’s not rocket science to suggest that their main goal threat is likely to come from Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.
Son has a league-leading eight goals so far and also five in 10 games against City, including four in his last four.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min: Great start to the season.