To some it may seem easy to do a Man City v Tottenham preview, you just write Man City will win but football is never so simple and to dismiss Antonio Conte and his men out of hand before a ball has even been kicked could be a mistake.
That is not to say that I expect Spurs to win but neither does it mean they will lose, there is a possibility that we leave the Etihad with at least a point this evening.
Why do I feel this is a possibility? Because we are one team that Pep Guardiola has never dominated. Yes, they have beaten us but that has only occurred 50% of the time over the last ten meetings between the clubs.
Of course, right now everything is in City’s favour, Tottenham is dysfunctional at this moment in time, the manager is putting out fires all over the place, the team’s form is abysmal and City are beating everything before them but in all fairness, that has always been the case over recent seasons and yet, we still manage to frustrate them and take points off of them.
A lot will depend on how Conte approaches the game, if it is purely parking the bus then that is unlikely to work with this Tottenham defence, we are not talking about a team that has Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld at their peak in it.
Tottenham must give themselves a chance and it is probably in midfield that Spurs must seek to at least be competitive and I suspect that is where Conte will look to concentrate his tactical nous, it is where he was schooled by Bruno Lage and Ralph Hasenhüttl but that is fine because if we know one thing about the Italian, it is that he learns from his mistakes.
City will no doubt dominate possession and attempt to pass their way to victory and that has to be broken up as much as possible and that starts upfront and in midfield.
It will certainly be backs against the wall stuff but we have been here before and this game does offer Tottenham an opportunity to turn their season around.
If we manage to get something from this game it would give the whole team a huge lift, boost confidence and morale and set us up nicely for the rest of the season.
Lose heavily and all of a sudden this campaign will become a very long drawn out one.
Optimistic Predicted Score
Man City 1-1 Tottenham
Turns out doing this Man City v Tottenham preview was easier than I thought if one is optimistic.