Manchester City, the English Premier League champions-elect, travel to Wembley on April 14th, on the back of the defeat to Manchester United in the derby during the last league action to face on form Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs were the first team to beat City under Pep Guardiola last season in a 2-0 encounter at White Hart Lane and would cement their position in top four should they manage another win again. A ten point gap with Chelsea sound good for Spurs but that should not deter them from giving City a run of their money at Wembley.
With six games to go, City and Guardiola need two wins to pocket the title but a win at Wembley and a defeat to Manchester United could hand them the cup early. If City is going to lose again, it would be a back to back loss since December 2016.
During the first leg clash, a brace from Raheem Sterling and two goals each from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne ensured that City romped to a healthy 4-1 victory. Christian Eriksen scored the only goal for Mauricio Pochetino side.
Guardiola heavily altered his side during the Manchester derby, resting stars Sergio Kun Aguero, De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus. That is unlikely this time around given that they have been eliminated in the UEFA Champions League and the league remains the only major commitment on their side.
Spurs team news
Pochetino boasts of a virtually fully-fit squad but Kieran Trippier’s situation could be determined later as he is reported to be suffering from fatigue. Ivorian Serge Aurier could fill that position though so Spurs should not worry match. Harry Winks who has been used sparingly this season is set out to miss the City clash. The 22-year-old midfielder has only played three times in 2018. His last league appearance was against Southampton on Boxing Day when he came off the bench.
City team news
City will miss their dependable midfield maestro Fernandinho who is serving his first match suspension after accumulating ten yellow cards. The Brazilian has played thirty out of thirty-two matches for City and that presents Guardiola with a selection headache in midfield. But Gundogan could be given the duties as he did against Arsenal and Chelsea earlier. Benjamin Mendy is still ruled out due to a knee injury. John Stones is unlikely to feature due to a groin injury. Danilo also could miss the Wembley clash as he missed the last action against Liverpool.
With Spurs top scorer looking to close the gap with Liverpool’s Mo Salah, he would actually hope to be in his top form and at least score. The four-goal separating him from the current EPL top scorer should motivate him as the race of the Golden Boot intensifies. Son is another player City should look to contain. He has been lethal and has scored important goals for Spurs and the South Korean would actually love to score against the Champs to be.
Should Aguero start at the expense of Gabriel Jesus, he would fight to see that he too closes the gap with Kane. With 21 one goals so far, three goals stand in between him and the last season’s top scorer. The Argentine should probably have great impact on the game.
Results of the last five fixtures.
Spurs have won the last four matches and lost one while City has lost three and won two in all competitions.
With three consecutive losses inflicted on City, expect them to stage a comeback to winning ways. Both teams to score though.
Tottenham: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Dier; Eriksen, Dele, Son; Kane.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva, Sterling, Jesus, Sane.