Manchester City puts its 15-match winning streak on the line vs. Tottenham in a major Premier League showdown.

By 90Min
December 15, 2017

Saturday's match sees two teams with a very similar pressing tactics face each other for the first time this season. 

Last season, Pep Guardiola failed to win either encounter between Manchester City and Tottenham, losing to Mauricio Pochettino's side at White Hart Lane 2-0 before drawing 2-2 at home. 

However, this season things are very different for both teams, with City starting the season by beating their opponents 3-0 in a July friendly. Tottenham have conceded three more goals than City in the Premier League, also dropping points on seven more occasions. 

That is set against the backdrop of City having drawn just one game this season, winning their remaining 16, setting this game up to be a hugely entertaining spectacle.


Classic Encounter

Image by Darryl Owen

While the two teams have traded places in recent decades, exchanging wins and draws, Manchester City were largely victorious against Tottenham for the best part of five years from 2010 to 2015. 

That was until 26th September 2015 when the two sides met at White Hart Lane. Tottenham won the fixture 4-1, scoring four goals against City for the first time since 1962. This fixture began a run of three wins for Spurs and sparked a turning point in the battle between the two sides.

Only six of City's entire 18-man squad has survived since that day; Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi. In comparison, Tottenham, with the exception of Erik Lamela, Kyle Walker and the injured Toby Alderweireld, are expected to field exactly the same starting Xl for this fixture, a remarkable feat in modern day football. 


Key Battle

Christian Eriksen vs Kevin De Bruyne

Frederick Breedon/GettyImages

Both Eriksen and De Bruyne are hugely important players for their sides and are responsible for 2.3 and 2.7 key passes per game respectively.

Despite the fact they play in the same position, the relentless drive of the pair means they are more often than not directly competing with one another for the same area of the pitch, with Eriksen in particular recording the highest distance covered by any player per game last season at an impressive 11.97km.

So far this season De Bruyne leads the way with 17 goals and assists across all competitions, with Eriksen trailing behind on a respectable 10. 


Team News

Tottenham are again without the suspended Davinson Sánchez, while Alderweireld's injury means Spurs are down to their final two center backs options in Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier. 

Manchester City are without John Stones and Vincent Kompany, meaning the two sides face very similar defensive problems.

CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/GettyImages

City are also without Benjamin Mendy, who will not return until late in the New Year, with Tottenham also having a further absence in the form of Victor Wanyama, who is expected to return in January.

Potential Manchester City Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Delph; Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.

Potential Tottenham Lineup: Lloris; Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Winks; Eriksen, Dele, Son; Kane.


Prediction

Michael Steele/GettyImages

As 17 teams have already proved this season, stopping Manchester City's almost inevitable run to the title is bordering on the impossible.

However, if any team are capable of bringing an end to their current form it's Spurs, with wins against Dortmund and Real Madrid to their name this season.

Tottenham's recent history between the two sides may give them a psychological edge, but City are not without confidence in seeing out difficult games and will also be looking to extend their unbeaten run into a 16th league game. 

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham

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