Manchester City host Tottenham Hotspur in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter final tie on Wednesday. The first leg ended 1-0 in favour of Spurs and the Cityzens now have it all to do in the return leg.
The Lilywhites arrive into the encounter on the back of some encouraging form. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have now won their previous three games, having scored seven goals without reply in the process. However, the visitors have several injury concerns to stave off with Harry Kane ruled out and the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Winks doubtful for the game.
City, meanwhile, come into the game hoping to keep their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple intact. At the weekend, Pep Guardiola’s men trumped Crystal Palace away from home with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus popping up with the goals.
Thus, both sides have a good run of form behind them and one can expect the pair to battle tooth and nail as they look to book a semi-final date with Ajax.
Moreover, there is nothing to separate the two sides when it comes to meetings this season. The first match at Wembley was won 1-0 by City whereas Spurs reversed the score-line last week at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: 17th April, 2019
Time: 20:00 (Local Time); 00:30 (IST) on 18th April, 2019
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir
Last five competitive fixtures (most recent first)
Manchester City: W-L-W-W-W
Tottenham Hotspur: W-W-W-L-L
Head to Head
Manchester City: 61 wins
Tottenham Hotspur: 61 wins
Draw: 35 draws
Players to watch out for
Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian was consigned to the bench for the first leg by Pep Guardiola and the Cityzens missed his play-making abilities in the middle third. The first leg saw Guardiola’s troops control possession for large parts of the game yet they couldn’t scythe through Spurs’ rear-guard.
However, with De Bruyne expected to be back in the mix at the Etihad, one can look forward to the midfielder weaving his magic.
At the weekend, the Belgian served a timely reminder of his abilities as he produced a sublime display at Selhurst Park. De Bruyne was at his incisive best and bagged a couple of assists.
The midfielder has missed a major chunk of the 2018-19 season. Yet, come City’s biggest game of the term, the Belgian could end up being the decisive tilting scale.
Son Heung Min
Spurs’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League semi-final were dealt a massive blow when Harry Kane limped off near the hour mark in the first leg. However, like many a time this term, Son Heung Min came up trumps in the Englishman’s absence.
Son scored the winning goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and provided Spurs with the ideal platform to advance in Champions League.
With the South Korean leading the line, Spurs’ attack was a lot more dynamic as the forward constantly made runs in behind. Additionally, his blistering pace caused the City defence problems.
Thus, stopping Son represents one of the tougher tasks City have on their hands come Wednesday. And if they fail to do so, they could see their quadruple dream evaporate into thin air.