Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur, a fixture that is as unpredictable as the amount of money Pep Guardiola can spend in one summer transfer window. When the two teams who are fiercely locking horns in the transfer market over Spurs’ marquee player walk on to the pitch in their first match of the season, fireworks are expected. This matchup has created some memorable moments for the fans over the years. Be it Spurs breaking City fans’ hearts in the UCL win against City in 2019 or City’s loss to Spurs last season that kick-started the former’s winning streak, this fixture lives up to its hype for the fans as well as the neutrals.
Head to Head
The two teams have played against each other 8 times in the Premier League with Spurs coming out on top 25 times in comparison to Man City’s 16. We can never forget those matches between these sides during the 2011 to 2014 period that always ended with one side blowing the other team out of the park. With 135 goals scored between them in the span of these fixtures, this match never fails to amuse and is expected to be another action-packed evening of attacking prowess.
Spurs will be coming into this fixture on the back of a good pre-season stint after playing against heavyweights Chelsea and Arsenal. The Spurs team has shown promise and potential under their new manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, after pitching a comeback against Chelsea and winning comfortably against Arsenal. They will be looking to cause an upset and grab an early win that sets the morale for their upcoming matchdays although this never lasts more than 5 matchdays.
Man City has had a successful preseason as well except for one match. They have played against Preston, Barnsley and Blackpool and won all of them, scoring 10 goals in the process and conceding only once. The only blot on their form is the Community Shield loss to Leicester in which they lost by one goal and lost the trophy as well. Pep Guardiola’s side is expected to bounce back from this defeat and make a statement of power by defeating Spurs and establish their stature as the defending champions.
Players to watch
Touted as the “Harry Kane team” by Guardiola in a press conference, Harry Kane does live up to this statement and is a pivotal peg in the Spurs team. With his incredible poacher abilities, Harry Kane has the power to turn the game on its head. The Kane and Son partnership was the most prolific last season under Jose Mourinho combining for 14 goals and scoring a total of 34 goals individually. The thing to watch now is whether the tactical brilliance of Nuno can bring out the same in this partnership or not.
Man City has taken the transfer market by storm this season by breaking the bank for signing Jack Grealish and launching a 100 million pounds plus bid for Harry Kane, even though Guardiola denied in a press conference mid-season that they don’t have the money to spend on any big signings (ya, right Pep). Jack Grealish is a gifted attacking midfielder whose pairing with Kevin De Bruyne will be every City fan’s fantasy come true. Whether or not this pairing works or will they even play against Spurs considering KDB’s recent injury, will be seen on matchday.
There will be a lot of tensions flaring between the clubs as they go into this match due to the constant approaches by City to sign Harry Kane and Daniel Levy not willing to let him go at any cost. Will these tensions amp up the atmosphere? Will Harry Kane play against his potential future club? Or will this just be a match of pure tactical brilliance of Pep Guardiola and Nuno Espirito Santo that will put the high scoring matchups of the Manuel Pellegrini era to shame? Let’s find out on 15th August.
This match can be a comfortable win for City considering the managerial change in the Spurs dugout and the squad reinforcement done by City. But Nuno has outsmarted Guardiola during his time at Wolves so you can never rule out the possibility of a potential upset. My predicted score for the contest is Spurs 1 – 2 City.