Football Previews

Man City v Spurs preview, predictions & expected XIs

By Chris Smith

Published: 20:59, 19 April 2019

Manchester City host Tottenham on Saturday in a repeat of Wednesday’s thrilling Champions League encounter.

In a game of drama, goals and VAR calls, City ran out 4-3 winners on the night but crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the second year in a row on away goals.

The defeat has put City’s quadruple hopes to bed but Pep Guardiola’s side must recompose themselves now as they sit just two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand in the Premier League title race, meaning a domestic treble is still very much on the cards.

Spurs, meanwhile, will head into Saturday’s tie on the ultimate high having reached their first European semi-final since 1984. However, the defeat on the night against City was the third in their last six games across all competitions.

That form must improve if they are to hold onto third place – or even just a top-four spot – and Harry Kane being ruled out for the season only serves to make that mountain even steeper.

Read on for Man City v Tottenham live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.

When is Man City v Spurs?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Etihad Stadium

Date: Saturday, 20th April

Kick-off: 1:30 PM BST

Where can I watch live?

UK residents can watch City’s game against Spurs on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively for Sky viewers, and channels 511 and 512 respectively for Virgin Media users.


Saturday’s tie will be the 159th meeting between City and Spurs, with the two almost neck-and-neck over the course of this fixture.

City’s second-leg win on Wednesday, despite not being enough to win the whole tie, took them to 62 wins, one ahead of the Lilywhites, and means they have been victorious in four of the last five meetings.

Man City wins: 62 Draws: 35 Spurs wins: 61

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1. Is rampant Raheem Spurs’ Kryptonite?

Once again, Raheem Sterling has been absolutely ruthless this season.

The England international is now on 23 goals for the season in all club competitions after bagging a brace against Spurs in midweek and was heartbreakingly denied his hat-trick with that VAR call to rule out his last-minute strike because of a Sergio Aguero offside.

That double takes Sterling to seven career goals against Spurs, with only Bournemouth (10) suffering more at his hands. One would assume Pochettino must find a way to nullify the 24-year-old if Spurs are to stand a chance of coming away from the Etihad in as good a mood as they did on Wednesday.

2. What did Guardiola say to his players after Wednesday?

Given the raft of goals and late VAR drama, nobody can deny the heartbreaking nature of City’s Champions League exit on Wednesday.

However, the Sky Blues must now dust themselves if they are to retain the Premier League and/or secure a domestic treble.

And Guardiola has urged his players to realise how lucky they are to be working in an industry that brings such emotional extremes, while also calling upon them to embrace the pain of that defeat.

“If you believe it doesn’t hurt, or forget it, I’d say no. I want to see my players know what they did on Wednesday,” Guardiola told reporters.

“It will take time, we have to live with that feeling. What we lived last Wednesday it was incredible, we were lucky to live it. More than 55,000 people happy then devastated in a second. There is not an activity in this world you can put in these limits.

“It will remain in our hearts because in the future the performance we did was incredible at this level. That’s what it is. I don’t want to see them saying it doesn’t matter.”

Team news

Oleksandr Zinchenko is a doubt for City after the youngster picked up a hamstring injury during the recent win over Cardiff City.

Claudio Bravo remains a long-term absentee but, other than that, Guardiola should have a full squad to pick from.

As mentioned, Kane looks likely to miss the rest of the season, as well as England’s Uefa Nations League finals campaign, after limping off during the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final last week. Meanwhile, Moussa Sissoko left the field injured during the second leg and is also likely to be finished for the season.

Serge Aurier (hamstring) and Eric Dier (hip flexor) are both ruled out of Saturday’s clash, while Erik Lamela and Harry Winks are both doubtful.

How everyone thinks Man City and Spurs will line-up

1. Fernandinho to restore calm

A frantic opening to Wednesday’s encounter between these two saw Man City leading 3-2 on the night after just 21 minutes. As great as the action was for the neutral, Guardiola will likely have been seething with his team’s lack of defensive solidarity, considering they have conceded just 22 goals in 33 Premier League games so far.

Part of the problem may well have been Fernandinho’s absence in midfield until his second-half introduction, with the Brazilian playing a key role in screening City’s back four and controlling the tempo of a game to suit their needs.

To that end, believe the 33-year-old will be restored to the starting XI on Saturday as Guardiola seeks to bring order to the chaos.

2. Llorente to stay benched despite his ‘hand’ in historic Spurs win

When Fernando Llorente replaced the injured Sissoko in the first half at the Etihad on Wednesday, few would have predicted just how big of an influence he would have on the game.

However, his goal, whether it be via his arm, hip or leg, eventually proved enough to send Pochettino’s side through to their landmark semi-final, although the Independent believe this still isn’t enough for the Spaniard to keep his place up front in the absence of Kane.

The Independent’s predicted Spurs XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Alli, Eriksen; Lucas, Son

3. Resurgent De Bruyne to start again

After spending much of the season sidelined with injury, Kevin De Bruyne has started five of City’s last six games and it’s safe to say he’s well and truly back in the mood.

The Belgium international has only scored once during that time but has notched six assists. Five of them have come in the past two games, including his hat-trick of assists against Spurs on Wednesday.

And the Evening Standard believe that, given that the title race has now turned into an all-out spring between City and Liverpool, Guardiola will field him from the start once again.

The Evening Standard’s predicted Man City XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, David Silva; Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Aguero

4. Pochettino to bolster the midfield with Dier return

Despite being at the tail-end of his recovery from a hip injury, the Evening Standard also believe Eric Dier will be drafted straight into the starting line-up as Pochettino looks to combat City’s midfield dominance.

This would require fielding a back-four, with Spurs likely to stick with Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen rather than reverting to a back-five.

The Evening Standard’s predicted Spurs XI: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Dier, Alli, Eriksen, Son, Lucas Moura

Squawka prediction

Putting it bluntly, Wednesday night was absolutely bonkers. Surely we cannot have that same drama again on Saturday. It’s worth noting that City actually did beat Spurs on the night and had it not been for a VAR call, would have done by a margin big enough to see them through to the next round. This Premier League game gives Guardiola’s side the chance to put Wednesday behind them and keep their domestic treble hopes firmly on track. Man City 2-1 Spurs.


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