Spurs host Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday night – and all the signs point towards a classic encounter.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be aiming to lay down a marker at their new home while Pep Guardiola’s side are still fighting on four fronts with an unprecedented quadruple in their sights.
But how will the game in north London pan out? City have been installed as clear favourites to progress, however, you simply can’t write Spurs off – even if Kevin de Bruyne has dismissed the importance of their stadium.
Statman Dave has tackled the big talking points ahead of the first leg in his latest video….
Stopping the machine that is City’s attack is no mean feat and Spurs seem to have two clear choices ahead of the game.
The first is to sit back and absorb the inevitable pressure and the second is to take the game to City and press high, forcing Aymeric Laporte and co. to actually do some defending.
Spurs tried the latter when they faced City at the Etihad last season but came unstuck thanks to Ederson’s superb passing – which often bypassed their press – and lost 4-1.
Guardiola’s formations can be difficult to predict, given that the Spaniard insists on constant flexibility from his players. However, a 4-3-3 appears to be most likely as he goes in search of a crucial away goal.
Spurs, meanwhile, may opt to be bold and set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which would allow them to attack City in wide areas. Kyle Walker’s potential absence against his former club could be key.
Sergio Aguero is expected to be fit, having sat out the FA Cup semi-final victory over Brighton, and will surely lead the visitors’ line if he is available.
Elsewhere, Spurs’ side may well be defined by Pochettino’s decision in regards to Fernandinho.
The Brazilian is an integral figure and the Spurs boss is likely to be mulling over the possibility of deploying Dele Alli with the primary responsibility of stopping City’s dominance passing in the centre of the park.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.