Premier League 2018-19: Tottenham v Man City, Preview and Prediction
Manchester City will be looking to keep up with Premier League leaders Liverpool when they face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Monday night. The Reds' win against Cardiff means that the Citizens have to pick up all three points if they aren't to fall behind.
Spurs also have a big incentive to win, as anything less than victory will likely mean them lagging behind both Arsenal and Chelsea and having to make up ground to finish in the top 4 once more. This is the standout fixture of Matchday 10 and features two of the sides that produce the best football in the English top flight.
PSV 2-2 Tottenham (Champions League)
Tottenham were looking to get their first three points of this year's Champions League Group Stage but were denied by Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven. Hirving Lozano sent the home fans into raptures by putting PSV ahead with a deflected shot just before the half-hour mark.
Spurs rallied, though, and equalised before half-time through Lucas Moura's similarly deflected shot. Harry Kane put the Lilywhites ahead just after the break, but things went pear-shaped from there.
Hugo Lloris' brainless challenge on Lozano sent him for an early bath and the former's replacement couldn't keep a clean sheet. Michel Vorm was beaten late on by Luuk de Jong's cute effort and 2-2 it finished.
Shakhtar 0-3 Man City (Champions League)
Manchester City have recovered from their poor start to the Champions League by sticking three past Shakhtar Donetsk and topping Group F in the process. City outclassed their opponents, and given the quality of their side, this was pretty expected.
Raheem Sterling, Riyadh Mahrez and David Silva all had good chances in the first half, but the pressure told after half an hour with Silva's powerful low strike beating Pyatov in goal. Aymeric Laporte doubled the English Champions' lead just a few minutes later.
The game was all but over on 70 minutes thanks to substitute Bernardo Silva adding gloss to the scoreline, 3-0 the final score.
Hugo Lloris' ban only applies to European competition, so the French stopper is still in line to start this game. Jan Vertonghen remains on the sidelines with his thigh injury, but Danny Rose could be fit for this game.
However, I don't believe that the Englishman will make the starting XI this time around, more that's more likely in the midweek League Cup clash against West Ham. All-in-all, this is the same eleven that started against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, though they'll be hoping for a better result this time out.
The midweek clash with Shakhtar allowed Pep Guardiola to rest a number of key players ahead of Monday's clash. Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Danilo all should return to the starting XI, as all the big guns will be needed to best Spurs at Wembley.
John Stones started at fullback on Tuesday, and the English defender could start in the centre of defence, but believe Laporte will get the nod ahead of him. Benjamin Mendy could likewise make a case to start, but I believe Guardiola will start Danilo, in fear of aggravating the former's previous injury.
Key Player: Christian Eriksen
Despite Tottenham being the home side, they're very much outsiders for this one. Like Barcelona a few weeks ago, Wembley's big pitch will play into the hands of the visitors, as their expansive style of play will stretch Spurs' resolve to breaking point.
The Lilywhites have one of the most lethal strikers in Europe in Harry Kane, but the service that he feeds off comes from the three (Son, Lucas and Eriksen) that play behind the England captain is crucial to his chances in front of goal. Eriksen, in partcular, is the main source for Kane's opportunities, if City stop the Dane, Ederson won't have a whole lot to deal with in goal.
With the Premier League looking increasingly as though it's going to be a two-horse race, any slip up from either Liverpool or Manchester City could prove to be crucial and potentially bring the sides like Arsenal and Chelsea firmly into the mix.
Tottenham may not have spent any money in the summer windown, but their squad is a formidable one and one that can beat any side on their day. Southampton are their next Premier League match, but after that, it's the Manchester Derby, a fixture that could produce any result conceivable, so Guardiola will be making it unequivocally clear how crucial this match is.
Prediction: Tottenham 0-2 Manchester City
Despite Tottenham being a real force in the Premier League, I'm going for all 3 points for Manchester City. City have a depth in quality that is unrivalled in the English top flight and that will show on Monday, their attacking talents will likely be too much for Spurs to handle and the Lilywhites will do well to break down the away side's defence.
With Arsenal and Chelsea playing Crystal Palace and Burnley, respectively, today, this could be a very bad loss for Pochettino's men.