"Both sides have weaknesses in defence. I anticipate a very tactical game..." - Tottenham vs Manchester City (Ask The Opposition w/ Daily Hotspur)
Manchester City return to Premier League action on Saturday evening when they travel to North London to face Jose Mourinho’s in-form Tottenham Hotspur at the ever-impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
For City, this weekend offers the Blues with a fantastic opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the top three as they seek to try to build some much needed momentum ahead of a mammoth run of a dozen games between now and new year.
Meanwhile, a win for Spurs on Saturday evening could send them to the top of the Premier League table, as Jose Mourinho looks to try and win successive games against Pep Guardiola for the first time in his managerial career.
As City look to break the evolving vicious cycle which includes failing to score, missing penalties, Son Heung-Min goals and VAR drama when playing at the new White Hart Lane, we spoke to Jamie Brown - founder of Daily Hotspur - ahead of what could be a mouth-watering meeting in North London.
Thanks very much for joining us Jamie. There’s been a few scares due to COVID while both teams have been away on international duty, but on the Spurs side, how big of a miss will Matt Doherty be from tomorrow’s game?
Matt Doherty has made a strong start to his Spurs career, but right now, he’s a player who we can manage without. The former Wolves man is still taking time to adjust to his new role in a back-four, but has been a strong outlet going forward, nonetheless.
Serge Aurier will step in to replace him and whilst he was pretty disappointing last season, he has so far raised his game to battle with Doherty for the right-back spot. Aurier particularly impressed against Manchester United and hopefully he can replicate that performance.
How would you summarise Spurs’ start to the season and what is the current mood amongst fans?
Very optimistic. Following a very successful transfer window, it now feels like we have a squad in place to finally end the wait for some silverware. Whilst the quality of some of the new additions has been great, it’s also what they’ll offer to the dressing room in terms of experience and winning mentality.
Gareth Bale returns with four Champions League titles, Joe Hart, as you’ll know, is a Premier League winner, Sergio Reguilon has experienced playing for Real Madrid and won the Europa League with Sevilla last season and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has played for Bayern Munich and captained Southampton.
Along with Mourinho’s pedigree for winning trophies and the playing squad now in place, Spurs fans are very hopeful of having something proper to show for it at the end of the season.
It’s been an impressive start from Spurs so far this season, but is there a genuine feeling that a serious title challenge can be mounted this campaign, or is it simply too early to say?
I think we’re about to find out… Five of Spurs’ next six games will see us face Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester. Depending on how we’re able to navigate our way through these fixtures, we will likely learn whether Spurs are capable of properly challenging.
Right now, the signs are good, with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son hitting such top form and some very important wins already on the board.
On paper, Spurs have a relatively tough run of games on the horizon, so how do you feel Mourinho’s side will far over the hectic festive period?
I think this is a run of games which Jose Mourinho will secretly be relishing. He’s a manager who loves being the underdog and navigating his side through a spell in which they have been written off. The run of game also comes at a good time in the sense that Spurs are in form and have a fully fit squad to select from. As I mentioned, this run of games is likely to define what we’re capable of doing in the league this season.
Pep Guardiola once labelled Spurs as the ‘Harry Kane team’, but what would your response be to anyone who claims that Tottenham are over-reliant on the star England striker?
No doubt if you take Harry Kane out of this side it would be a huge blow, but you only have to look at the match winners in our last three games to see the quality we now have…
Against Burnley, Heung-min Son netted a late winner to claim a huge three points. Against Brighton, Gareth Bale came off the bench to score the winning goal. Against Burnley, Harry Kane was the match winner. Spurs now have several players who are capable of winning games. Behind this front three, Spurs also have the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon who all play very important roles in this Spurs side now and are among the best players in the league for their positions.
This season, Spurs are a much better-rounded side than in the previous two campaigns.
Could we possibly get a predicted scoreline ahead of the game and how you see the match panning out?
Both sides have the same strengths, and both also have the same weaknesses. Spurs and City have incredible attacking and creative talent, however, both sides also have weaknesses in defence. I anticipate a very tactical game in which Manchester City will spend long periods with the ball and attempting to break Spurs down, whilst Jose’s side try to hit Pep and City on the break.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Manchester City.
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