Familiar foes, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, rekindle their rivalry in North London today, where the champions will be determined to keep their ailing title defence on track at Spurs’ expense.
Remarkably, City have lost all four visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions since April 2019, though Pep Guardiola will hope that his team’s 4-2 triumph over Spurs in January will help them to break their curse in the capital this afternoon.
You know the routine by now. Below, you can immerse yourself in my stats pack for the game which comes equipped with all the numbers, figures and metrics you need to compile savvier bet builders for today’s tussle. Use the research below in conjunction with my Stats Pack Guide for better results.
Brazilian winger Lucas Moura is still laid low with a calf complaint, though his compatriot, Richarlison, is inching towards a return and has an outside chance of making the matchday squad. New signing Pedro Porro is in line to make his debut at right-wing back.
Dejan Kulusevski, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane will form an attacking trident in the final third and that trio caused City numerous headaches (in the first half at least) when Tottenham played at The Etihad Stadium last month.
John Stones was withdrawn just before half time in Man City’s FA Cup win over Arsenal last week and the centre-half is a major doubt today as a consequence. Philip Foden should shake off an ankle issue in time to feature in some capacity, however.
City were deployed in a 4-2-3-1 formation when they beat Tottenham 4-2 in January, and Pep Guardiola could send his troops out in a similar shape today. Riyad Mahrez finished that game with three goal contributions and the Algerian is almost certain to reprise his role on the right flank.
Tottenham dug out a 1-0 win at Fulham in their last Premier League assignment despite losing the xG battle to the Cottagers, and that has kind of been the story of their season so far.
Spurs are still in the Champions League qualification conversation, though they have been conceding more shots (p/90) than they’ve managed themselves, and only a handful of other sides have allowed opponents to rack up more shots on target.
Antonio Conte’s outfit are the third-highest-scoring team in the division however, and they’ve outperformed their xG by approximately ten goals since August. Indeed, the Londoners scored twice at City last month from an xG of just 0.8.
Manchester City have won three games on the spin since their derby defeat to rivals United, and they lodged a combined xG of 5.1 in their brace of Premier League victories over Tottenham and Wolves during that spell.
City boast the best record in the division across a number of defensive metrics, though two clubs have still conceded fewer goals (Newcastle & Arsenal). The champions also have the cleanest disciplinary record in 2022/23, which could open a gap in your coupon to back Spurs to collect more cards today at 8/13.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Harry Kane had more attempts against Man City last month (three) than any other Tottenham player, though the talismanic striker didn’t manage to get any of his efforts on target.
The members of his supporting cast in attack, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski, did however, and that duo are priced at 8/15 and even money respectively to register at least one accurate attempt today.
Son in particular, is a regular City tormentor, and in the last two encounters between Tottenham and the Cityzens in North London, the winger racked up seven shots on goal.
Erling Haaland hit the mark with each of his four shots in Man City’s last Premier League match against Wolves and the Norwegian clocked two more accurate attempts just before that against Tottenham. The 22-year-old represents good value at 4/6 to lodge at least two more shots on target this afternoon.
In-form Riyad Mahrez also catches the eye in the same market. Tottenham couldn’t handle the Algerian in Manchester last month when Mahrez managed to get four shots on target. The 31-year-old is available at a generous 9/5 today to test Hugo Lloris with at least two strikes later on.
Player Goals and Assists
Heung-min Son has struggled to find confidence and form this season, though the wide attacker usually saves some of his best work for games against City and the 30-year-old has scored seven goals against the Mancunian giants during his career. Son looks very backable at 6/4 to either score or assist again today.
Harry Kane meanwhile, has been dynamite for Spurs again this season, however he has scored just seven of his 16 Premier League goals on home soil and each of his last four strikes in the division have come on the road. In addition, Kane has only found the net twice in 16 appearances against City since 2016 – and both of those were notched in the same encounter – so it might be smarter to leave the 29-year-old off your docket this afternoon.
Goal-scoring phenom Erling Haaland clattered home his fourth Premier League hattrick of this maiden campaign in City’s last league fixture against Wolves, though the Norwegian is a bit of a home bird and 16 of his 25 efforts in the top tier have been plundered at The Etihad Stadium.
Haaland failed to notch in five of his last six away runouts for City, so backing Riyad Mahrez to either score or assist at 10/11 looks like better value from my vantage point. The Algerian tore the Spurs defence to shreds in January, when he made one and scored two of City’s four goals.
Despite posting a modest 34.4% possession figure, Tottenham counter-attacked their way to glory when they last welcomed Man City to North London and Antonio Conte’s side will be at ease will less ball control than their visitor’s again today.
That scenario makes it tough to find decent candidates in the market for Spurs this afternoon however, and last month, not even a single Tottenham player managed to breach the 50-passes barrier against City.
To give you a sense of the landscape, prices in the 50+ passes market here include Eric Dier at 1/8 and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at 1/9, so wiser bettors will avoid needless selections here.
Spanish international Rodri was Man City’s conductor supreme in midfield when the champions roared to a comeback victory over Tottenham and the 26-year-old played a giant 103 passes overall during his influential display.
That was the eighth time this season that Rodri was a passing centurion for City and the ex-Atletico Madrid star can be nudged onto your coupon with confidence today to play 90 or more passes again.
Tottenham Hotspur Cards
Cristian Romero takes no prisoners for Tottenham and the centre-half was among those booked when Spurs lost 4-2 at Man City last month. The tough-as-nails Argentinean, who is priced at 6/4 to pick up another caution, should have the timing of his tackles tested by Jack Grealish again today.
Uruguayan Rodrigo Bentancur (6/4) has collected more Premier League cards than any of his teammates today and the heavy tackler should have plenty of ankles to nip again later on.
Veteran wing-back Ivan Perisic doesn’t feature on the rundown of Spurs’ most-carded players in 2022/23, though the Croatian was lucky to escape without a booking when he committed three fouls against City in January and the 34-year-old will line up against the tricky Riyad Mahrez again this evening.
Kevin de Bruyne’s pinpoint passing can unlock any defence and the Belgian’s creative talents should put him firmly on Rodrigo Bentancur’s hitlist in midfield today.
Jack Grealish continues to collect more knocks than most and the wide attacker faces another bruising encounter against Cristiano Romero this afternoon. Grealish has the silkiness of touch to beat Romero in one-on-one situations, though the Argentinean won’t let his marker glide past him unhindered.
Riyad Mahrez tormented Tottenham at The Etihad Stadium last month, so expect the Algerian to run at Ivan Perisic at every opportunity again in today’s rematch. The Croatian will be outmatched for pace and he might have to get physical and even cynical to stop his man.
Match-Ups to watch
Rodrigo Bentancur vs Kevin de Bruyne
Cristian Romero vs Jack Grealish
Ivan Perisic vs Riyad Mahrez
Manchester City Cards
Rodri has been committing more fouls per 90 than any other Man City in the Premier League this season and the Spaniard ranks 13th in the division overall for average fouls committed per appearance. His card count for the campaign is still modest, however, in a City side light on cautions, Rodri is as likely as anyone else to earn a card at 11/4.
Ilkay Gundogan and Nathan Ake don’t make the cut on City’s list of naughtiest players, however, both committed two fouls against Spurs in January and they could be worth considering as options to be carded at 5/1 and 13/2 while battling the same opponents this afternoon.
Harry Kane’s ability to drop deep and link play is a key part of Tottenham’s blueprint and Rodri will be on the England international’s case when the pair occupy the same spaces between defence and midfield.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been Tottenham’s most-fouled central midfielder this term and the Dane’s skirmishes with City’s Ilkay Gundogan this afternoon might need intervention from referee Paul Tierney.
Dejan Kulusevski’s mazy runs unsettled Nathan Ake at The Etihad Stadium in January and the slick Swede could stretch the Dutchman again on the right flank today. Only a handful of Premier League players can match Kulusevski for dribbles attempted per 90, and Ake should have his hands full against the 22-year-old.
Match-Ups to watch
Rodri vs Harry Kane
Ilkay Gundogan vs Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Nathan Ake vs Dejan Kulusevski
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
From the pack, there are some bet builder selections that took my fancy for value. I’ll put them down below so you can add them to your betslip.
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Tottenham average 1.95 goals for, and 1.55 goals against.
Tottenham average an xG for of 1.81 and xG against of 1.70.
Man City average 2.65 goals for and 1.00 against.
Man City average an xG for of 2.29 and xG against of 0.99.
Last time they met, it ended 4-2.
Tottenham average 2.05 cards per game.
Man City opponents average 2.40 cards.
The referee Peter Bankes averages 4.50 cards per game.
Riyad Mahrez has 4 goals and 3 assists in 14 appearances.
He registered two goals and one assist against Spurs last time out.
Heung-Min Son averages 1.39 shots on target p/90, from 2.84 shots.
He registered a shot on target against Man City, and 4 against Preston in his last run out.