Without question the biggest clash of this Premier League weekend is at the Etihad as Manchester City play host to Tottenham. In a sense there is a slight disappointment that Mauricio Pochettino’s men had that stutter of form in November as it has deprived us of a bonafide top of the table clash but that said there is no understating the size of this fixture.
For Manchester City it is the quest to not only continue their winning streak of Premier League game which now sits at a record breaking 15 but also the fact that with each of these wins that they stack up the talk of going the whole season undefeated gets louder.
They managed to get number 15 against a hapless Swansea side who at times were more resembling statues then offering anything in defence, then again maybe that does this City side a disservice as they were at times simply mesmerising on they strolled to victory against Paul Clement’s men.
That win came off the back of win number 14 which saw them equal Arsenal’s Premier League record of successive wins and where better place to get a foothold in history than at Old Trafford. Pep Guardiola masterminded a 2-1 win against his arch nemesis Jose Mourinho with a reported behind the scenes bust up between the two sets of players after the game.
That was believed to be due to City’s over exuberant celebration, well at least from Mourinho’s and United’s point of view but in fairness they would have every right to celebrate after such a dominant performance at Old Trafford, they may not have been classic goals that won them the game but everything else was picture perfect.
It was arguably Ederson who won City the game after his point blank double save late on from Romelu Lukaku, what made it even more impressive was the fact he took the ball square to the face for the first save and still had the presence of mind to keep the ball out once again. It could well be the save that all but wins his team the title.
Tottenham may well have waved the white flag in terms of their title hopes a few weeks ago after a run of results that saw them fail to pick up a Premier League win in four attempts, but it looks as if that could well just be a November blip as since then they have won their last two league outings while also winning three in all competitions.
It looks as if Mauricio Pochettino has finally found the template to beat one of the lesser teams at Wembley after his Spurs turned in a five star performance against Stoke last Saturday. Fans of the club would say a performance like the one witnessed against Stoke has been coming and they will be glad that it finally arrived and subsequently put and end to their streak without a win.
Not only that but they added to victory over Stoke with one over Brighton in midweek, a win that also sees them benefit from Liverpool and Arsenal’s successive draws and more importantly return to the top four in the Premier League.
It seemed to be doom and gloom after their draw away at Watford a fortnight ago but it is amazing what a couple of wins can do to change the complexion of your season, the important thing now for Tottenham is to make sure that their momentum is not halted again.
Tottenham would love nothing more than to claim the scalp of Manchester City and be the first team to beat them this season, I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are the nation’s second team going into this game but a fair amount of neutrals will be hoping that it is they who put a stop to this footballing juggernaut.
They do have form in this department as last season they stopped Chelsea from making it a record equaling 14 successive wins at White Hart Lane thanks to Dele Alli’s brace. He did not start on Wednesday night but you would imagine that he is started from the off today.
It will also be interesting to see if Tottenham opt for the 4-2-3-1 formation which has treated them well in the last couple of games, then again this could be more down to necessity rather than choice because the lack of available defensive personnel that Mauricio Pochettino can call open.
If this system is utilised from the off then it should mean an inclusion for South Korea’s Hueng min-Son who has been in a purple patch of form as of late with goals in the past two league matches. The prospect of him going up against make shift full back Fabian Delph should be an interesting one.
However I don’t think that is where the game will be won or lost and to be honest I think City might just nick this one as quite simply no-one is stopping them right now. That’s not a reflection on the quality of Tottenham it is just the extra level that Pep Guardiola’s men are at. A begrudging home win for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 15, 2017