Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur produced some of the most enthralling head-to-head contests in both the Premier and Champions League last season.
City were the dominant force domestically in 2018/19, doing the double over Spurs on their way to successfully defending their Premier League crown, though Tottenham were the continental kings, eliminating the Citizens over two legs in the Champions League Quarters on their way to reaching the competition’s Final in Madrid.
Man City and Tottenham are both expected to push for honours again this season, and neither team will want to pass on the opportunity to lay down an early marker for the campaign at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
That should add an extra layer of intrigue to what already promises to be a monumental evening of action in Manchester this weekend.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important individual duels that could play a key role in deciding the outcome of Man City’s clash with Tottenham this week.
Raheem Sterling vs Kyle Walker-Peters
Manchester City wide attacker Raheem Sterling started the 2019/20 season in blistering form with a stunning hattrick for the champions in their opening day 5-0 mauling of West Ham last weekend.
The 24-year old notched his three goals from just four attempts on goal, and having been criticised for his lack of cutting edge just a couple of years ago, Sterling has been transformed into one of the league’s most productive players under Pep Guardiola.
On Saturday, the talented but inexperienced Spurs fullback Kyle Walker-Peters will be tasked with tracking Sterling’s defence splitting runs, and we expect the 22-year old to have a tough time keeping his opponent in check.
With Sterling in such devastating form, we think the winger looks superb value at 8/11 with bet365 to rack up over 2.5 attempts on goal against Spurs.
We’ve also tipped Sterling to score anytime in our Man City vs Tottenham bet365 Bet Builder special. Check out the rest of our selections and betting tips now!
Oleksandr Zinchenko vs Lucas Moura
Mauricio Pochettino opted to set up his Tottenham Hotspur attack in a narrow structure against Aston Villa last weekend, and having watched his team’s impressive comeback performance and win against the Premier League new boys, the Argentine is likely to keep faith with the same set-up at City.
If Pochettino deploys his team in the same formation, Brazilian speedster Lucas Moura will find himself close proximity to City’s Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Playing in City’s overwhelmingly dominant team, Zinchenko tends to contribute far more to the attacking phases of play rather than the usual defensive ones traditionally associated with a full-back role, and as a result, the 22-year old doesn’t have to make tackles quite as often as some of his counterparts at other clubs.
City are almost certain to enjoy prolonged periods of possession against Spurs this weekend, which should result in Zinchenko’s defensive workload being relatively light again.
That in turn makes Zinchenko’s 1/1 odds with bet365 to make under 2.5 tackles against Tottenham a price well worth considering.
Oleksandar Zinchenko and his City teammate Raheem Sterling both feature in our Fantasy Football tips for game-week two – see who else made the cut here.
Kevin de Bruyne vs Harry Winks
Having missed huge chunks of City’s season in 2018/19 through injury, creative midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will be keen to re-establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most prolific chance creators.
The Belgian international started the new campaign in style last weekend, laying on a delicious assist for Raheem Sterling against West Ham and carving the Irons’ defence open with 3 key passes in total at the London Stadium.
On Saturday, Tottenham’s Harry Winks will likely occupy the same spaces that de Bruyne likes to drift into, setting up a potentially compelling head-to-head individual contest between two talented technicians.
We’re tipping de Bruyne to make his presence felt again this weekend however, and City’s engine room innovator is available at 7/4 with bet365 to add another assist to his tally for the season.
De Bruyne’s match-winning ability was one of the factors that led our experts to tip the Citizens to win in our Man City vs Tottenham match preview. Make sure to read the rest of our predictions for the game here!
Sergio Aguero vs Toby Alderweireld
Explosive Argentine striker and City club legend Sergio Aguero started the Premier League season on the bench for the Citizens last week, though we expect Pep Guardiola to restore the 31-year old to his starting line-up for Saturday’s huge game against Spurs.
Aguero has scored a whopping 10 times in 14 career Premier League appearances against Tottenham, though the former Atletico Madrid employee went 5 years without scoring against Spurs before his Champions League goal against them in April.
Belgian centre-half Toby Alderweireld will hope to limit Aguero’s influence this weekend, though, the 30-year old will also hope to be the starting point for many of his own team’s attacks.
Alderweireld played a game high 83 passes for Spurs in their 3-1 win against Aston Villa last week – a figure that came in higher than the centre half’s 69.4 passes per game average for Tottenham over the course of the 2018/19 season.
However, in his 4 Premier and Champions appearances against City in 2018/19, Alderweireld played 59, 41, 27 and 36 passes respectively, with the two lowest distribution totals occurring at the Etihad Stadium.
We think Alderweireld will be similarly starved of the ball in his latest trip to the blue half of Manchester on Saturday, making him a great bet at 5/6 with bet365 to play under 46.5 passes.
Rodri vs Christian Eriksen
Spanish summer signing Rodri slotted seamlessly into Manchester City’s well-oiled midfield machine last weekend, completing 90.3% of his passes overall in the Citizen’s superb display against West Ham in London.
Tipped as the long-term successor to the incredibly effective Brazilian destroyer Fernandinho, Rodri has all the attributes to thrive in Pep Guardiola’s system.
However, his defensive acumen is likely to be given a rigorous test by Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen on Saturday.
The Danish international had to endure a difficult summer with rumours and gossip about his future constantly swirling, though he emerged from the Spurs bench to play with real authority against Villa last week.
Despite the continued uncertainty about his career prospects, Eriksen remains one of Tottenham’s most outstanding individuals, and the 27-year old’s quality from open play and set pieces makes him an ever-present goal threat.
Remarkably, Eriksen is priced at 4/5 with bet365 to register over 0.5 shots on target against City this week, which means that bet365 will pay out if the midfielder tests the Citizens’ keeper just once on Saturday.
Check out our match previews, predictions and betting tips for the rest of the weekend Premier League action here.
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