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Other SportsManchester City v Tottenham: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Manchester City v Tottenham: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

The State of Play

On the face of it, everything appears relatively rosy in the City garden. Unbeaten since October 8 in all competitions, smooth progress through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, and challenging once again in the Premier League.

And yet they don’t seem the dominant force they were in previous seasons, perhaps inevitably given the long-term injury suffered by Kevin De Bruyne and the departures of Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez.

A 3-2 win at home in midweek against RB Leipzig showed up some defensive frailties not associated with a Pep Guardiola team, and came on the back of domestic draws against Chelsea and Liverpool.

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They still go into the weekend just a point adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal and remain likely to clinch the title for a fourth successive year.

Tottenham were talked about as one of City’s rivals for the crown following a start to the season that saw them go unbeaten through the opening 10 games. The wheels have come off since, however, with successive defeats to Chelsea, Wolves and Aston Villa.

In Ange Postecoglou they have an experienced man at the helm and while improvement may not come immediately given the opposition on Sunday, the wily Australian will surely get them back on track in the coming weeks.

Team News

Manchester City are set to have midfielder Mateo Kovacic back while England defender John Stones will be in the matchday squad but is unlikely to start. Matheus Nunes is not available, however, and will be out for several more weeks. Kevin De Bruyne remains sidelined and is not expected back until the new year.

Tottenham can welcome back Cristian Romero and Yves Bissouma from suspension but it’s not all good news with Pape Matar Sarr ruled out. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is likely to deputise in the Spurs midfield.
Rodrigo Bentancur will miss the next two months with an ankle injury sustained on his first start since spending nine months out with a ruptured ACL. Richarlison is close to full fitness but is not expected to play this weekend while Micky van de Ven and James Maddison will not return until the new year.

Expected line-ups

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Rodri, Silva; Foden, Alvarez, Doku; Haaland

Tottenham: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Davies, Udogie; Bissouma, Hojbjerg; Kulusevski, Gil, Johnson; Son

What they said

Pep Guardiola on the difficulties of the Premier League with more teams able to challenge
“It’s a more difficult competition to win every season. More teams are involved, every game is so difficult. Since I arrived, Spurs have been there all the time. A fantastic team. “They have some important absences but I saw against Villa that they still created chances. Their approach is really good for football.

Ange Postecoglou of having to take on City with a depleted squad
“Irrespective of what team you’ve got, it’s always a challenge to play against City and any team Pep manages.
“You want to play against the very best. It would’ve been nice if things were smoother for us. We’ve just got to crack on and get on with it. It’s about us becoming the team we want to become. There’ll be challenges.”

When and how to watch

Manchester City v Tottenham takes place on Sunday, December 3 at 4.30pm local time. The game is live on Sky Sports Main Event as part of Super Sunday.

Prediction

Manchester City have not won in the Premier League since November 4 but that relatively barren run will come to an end against a Tottenham side whose struggles will continue for another week at least. Injury-hit Spurs will not sit back, as per Postecoglou’s ethos, but that will leave them vulnerable to a City side eager to maintain the pressure on Arsenal.
Home win.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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