On January 31st Manchester City will host Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium and there is a bundle of issues attached for Pep Guardiola. After the two consecutive losses to Liverpool by 1-0 and the emphatic 4-0 to Everton, the Skye Blues and their coach need to consolidate their resolve and come up with something to change the morale. And that will not be easy against Tottenham.
The Spurs are now 2nd with 45 points while the Citizens have fallen to 5th with 42. Aside from Chelsea running 7 points ahead, the rest of the top of the table has the occupants really close to each other. Every victory at this stage is crucial and every loss is a lot more than a setback for the teams with aspirations to complete the season in the top spots of the table.
Manchester City really have to step up their game especially in defense as they have already conceded 26 goals in the Premier League this season. The comparison to Tottenham is dire. The Spurs are now the best defense in England with only 14 goals conceded. The offensive comparison is more or less the same as the Sky Blues have scored 41 goals and their opponents 43.
The historical records say that Tottenham has 17 wins, Manchester City 11, and another 4 matches ended in draws, giving the Spurs the advantage. The recent losses for the Citizens don’t help their case. However, it is at times like this that sides become stronger and come out on the pitch all guns blazing. It is also the time for Pep Guardiola to come up with an edge to appease the fans and take advantage of the home field.
Injury-wise Manchester City’s captain Kompany and Gundogan are still out with no return date and the midfielder Fernando Reyes is expected to recover just in time for the match. Fernandinho is also out due to suspension. For Tottenham Hotspur, Erik Lamela and Jan Vertonghen are still in recovery with no return date.
Can Pep Guardiola prove that he is the right coach for Manchester City now that the times are bad? Will Totthenham manage to defeat a team pushed psychologically for a good result?
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