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Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City Preview

Tottenham Hotspur’s first competitive match under new manager Nuno Espirito Santos will see them host defending champions Manchester City in a tough assignment at home. The side from North London were plagued by turmoil as star manager Jose Mourinho was sacked just before the end of last season.

After a managerial merry-go-round where several managers including Erik ten Hag rejected the Tottenham job, former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santos was appointed as head coach. The fixture against Manchester City will play out as the Harry Kane saga stretches on.

Manchester City, who recently made Jack Grealish the most expensive British transfer of all time have also heavily wooed the services of Harry Kane during the summer. A transfer fee to the tune of 150 million euros could see Kane parting ways with Tottenham Hotspur and becoming the new City number 9. It remains to be seen whether he takes part in this match at all.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be eager to begin their title defence on a strong note following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester City in the Community Shield at Wembley last weekend.

Let’s take an in-depth look at both the sides:

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE LAST SEASON

Spurs were disastrous in the Premier League last season under Jose Mourinho. Despite making a promising start, they lost their way as the tournament progressed and ended up finishing seventh. Tottenham failed to qualify for Europe and even West Ham finished ahead of them. With 18 wins, 8 draws, and 12 losses, they had 62 points to their name.

Tottenham also lost the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. Under their new manager, Spurs would want to challenge for the top four places in the league and they arrive into this game following a morale-boosting 1-0 friendly win over city-rivals Arsenal recently.

 

PREDICTED LINEUP AND TACTICS AGAINST MANCHESTER CITY

The signing of Argentine defender Cristian Romero, who won the Copa America a month ago, was the biggest news of the summer for Tottenham. However, he hasn’t trained with his teammates properly and is unlikely to start in the season opener.

Despite returning late to the club’s training after so much speculation surrounding a move to City, Harry Kane might be in contention to appear at some point. Tanguy Ndombele hasn’t been able to cement himself a place in the starting XI and wasn’t even included in the friendlies against Arsenal and Chelsea.

With Harry Kane probably starting from the bench, it will be up to Son Heung-min to deliver the goods in attack. The South Korean forward’s pace and trickery could cause concern for the City defence.

Probable Playing XI (4-2-1-3): Hugo Lloris; Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, Sergio Reguilon; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Winks; Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn; Son Heung-min

 

MANCHESTER CITY IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE LAST SEASON

Following a rather slow start to their 2020/21 Premier League season, Manchester City put the foot on the pedal and never took it off. They ran away with their third Premier League title in the last four years. City also finished 12 points above arch rivals Manchester United in second place.

Manchester City played the final of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history last season. However, they failed to make the opportunity count. Pep Guardiola’s side got outclassed by Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea ended up winning 1-0 in the final.

City would also like to put aside the heartbreak from the Community Shield match against Leicester quite recently and begin their title-defence with a win in north London.

 

PREDICTED LINEUPS AND TACTICS AGAINST TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Manchester City will have to start the season without the services of key midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden as both had sustained injuries in the Euro 2020 tournament. Young Samuel Edozie enjoyed a successful pre-season with the side and might find himself a place in Guardiola’s starting XI.

Benardo Silva, who has made up his mind to leave Manchester City should also start this match in the absence of De Bruyne and Foden. Mahrez and Ferran Torres will be deployed on the flanks while Gabriel Jesus who was involved in the Copa America final against Argentina might be brought on in the second half.

As for the most expensive transfer in England’s history, Jack Grealish, the new City number 10 will probably start from the bench. Guardiola would want to ease his star signing to the demands at City.

Riyad Mahrez stood out in the pre-season friendlies for Manchester City. While most of his teammates participated in the Euro 2020 or Copa America competitions, Mahrez managed to rest himself this summer after a long and gruelling last season. He’d be the biggest threat for Manchester City in this match as well.

Probable Playing XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Benjamin Mendy; Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva; Riyad Mahrez, Samuel Edozie, Ferran Torres.