Having wrestled the Premier League trophy back off Liverpool, Manchester City will be looking to consolidate their status as reigning champions of English football with another title challenge, but Pep Guardiola faces a daunting curtain raiser against one of the division’s so-called ‘Big Six’, travelling to the capital this weekend.
The subplot for this contest in north London of course revolves around Harry Kane. The wantaway forward has made no secret of his desire to challenge for silverware, even if that means leaving his beloved Spurs, and City have proven the biggest admirers of his signature.
For now, though, transfer talk between the two clubs will be put on the back-burner and focus will zero in on what promises to be a mouthwatering contest to kickstart the campaign, with Jack Grealish set to make his competitive debut and Nuno Espirito Santo shaking hands with Pep wearing a new tracksuit.
The former Wolves manager was drafted in by Daniel Levy after attempts to lure Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso fell flat, so he will want to prove himself and give Tottenham fans an early indication of what they can come to expect from his tenure.
Tottenham vs Man City: Match Stats
The spotlight — providing Kane doesn’t make the matchday squad — will be on Grealish for this blockbuster bout. The England international carries the label of ‘Premier League’s most expensive player ever’, so he will want to justify that nine-figure price tag with an early flourish in City colours to relieve some of the added burden. Despite playing just 26 games due to injury last season, Grealish created the third-most chances of any player in the Premier League (81), and Guardiola will need some of that inventiveness against Espirito Santo’s typically well-drilled defence.
Spurs’ threat will come in the guise of Son Heung-min, who is something of a kryptonite character for Guardiola. The South Korean has only scored more goals in all competitions against Southampton (11) than he has against City (six). In fact, he has scored in all three of his appearances against the Citizens at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, so City must be wary of this elite attacking threat.
Tottenham vs Man City: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Tottenham 1-3 Man City
Tottenham vs Man City: Odds
Tottenham vs Man City: Head to Head
25 Apr 2021 – Tottenham 0-1 Man City – League Cup Final
13 Feb 2021 – Man City 3-0 Tottenham – Premier League
21 Nov 2020 – Tottenham 2-0 Man City – Premier League
02 Feb 2020 – Tottenham 2-0 Man City – Premier League
17 Aug 2019 – Man City 2-2 Tottenham – Premier League
That League Cup final showdown remains the most notable fixture in recent times, excluding of course their epic encounter in the Champions League quarter-finals during the 2018/19 season. Jose Mourinho was unceremoniously dismissed on the eve of that Wembley showpiece, with managerial greenhorn Ryan Mason given the unforgiving task of pitting his tactical wits against Guardiola in his second game in charge. The Premier League’s youngest-ever manager ultimately came up short, losing 1-0 as Aymeric Laporte settled the score 10 minutes from time.