Title Chasers

Manchester City vs Tottenham | Saturday 16 December | Etihad Stadium | 19:30

The biggest Premier League matchup of game week 18 sees Manchester City and Tottenham do battle at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s title-chasers are favourites to come out on top, having taking maximum points against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. They’re also on the longest winning streak (14 straight wins) in Premier League history. However, City have failed to beat Tottenham in the last two seasons, with Mauricio Pochettino’s talented side winning three times.

*Please note this article was written prior to their midweek fixtures on 13 December.

To Win
Man City 5/10
Draw 34/10
Tottenham 9/2

Manchester City

With 15 wins and just one draw from their 16 games played, Manchester City are on pace to pull off the most dominant season in Premier League history. Since drawing with Everton in their second league game of the season, Guardiola’s side have won 14 matches in a row, equalling Arsenal’s record over two seasons in 2002. Should they win away to relegation-threatened Swansea on Wednesday, it will be a new record for Guardiola’s side.

The longer City’s undefeated streak lasts, the more it will invite comparisons to Arsenal’s “Invincibles” and, to a lesser extent, the extraordinary Barcelona teams Guardiola managed between 2008 and 2012. Although I don’t see City finishing the campaign undefeated, I do think they have the league wrapped up with an 11-point lead over second-placed Manchester United. They have quality right through their team and, when you look through their squad, they also have impressive strength in depth. I don’t see anyone catching them from here.

City have goal-scorers all over the field and Spurs are going to find defending against them very difficult. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have chipped in nine goals apiece this season, along with Gabriel Jesus’ eight and Leroy Sane’s six. With Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva pulling the strings in midfield, it’s no surprise that City are scoring so many goals.


Despite their impressive performances against City in the last two seasons, Pochettino knows his side are up against a different force this season. It would take something special to stop Guardiola’s side in their tracks and it will be even more difficult without their first-choice centre backs: Davinson Sanchez (suspended) and Toby Alderweireld (injured).

More worryingly for Pochettino is Spurs’ recent away form. They’re winless in their last four outings, having lost on their trips to Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City. Their last travelling game ended in a 1-1 draw against Watford, although Spurs could count themselves lucky as the Hornets were cruelly denied a clear penalty in the 94th minute.

Pochettino’s side collected their first Premier League win in five games with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Stoke at Wembley Stadium last Saturday. Spurs were back to their best at just the right time as Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all dropped points. The Londoners are now just two points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, although a defeat against City might even see Burnley overtake them in the standings.

Probable line-ups:

Man City: 4-3-3
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane.

Tottenham: 4-2-3-1
Lloris; Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Winks, Dembele; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane.

Prediction: Manchester City Win & Both Teams to Score (16/10)
City will look to add Spurs to the list of top sides defeated and having won seven Premier League matches in a row at the Etihad Stadium, I fancy them to do just that. But with Spurs’  attacking threat of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who has scored in back-to-back meetings against City, I’m tipping Manchester City to Win & Both Teams to Score at 16/10.

Chad Nagel


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