Since the money started flowing, Manchester City fans have rarely seen their team comprehensively beaten. However, last weekend Leicester dismantled the Citizens with confidence and relative ease. Although narratives in football are rarely as true as they sound, City’s status as jaded overpaid mercenaries looked right on the money when compared with the gusto and team spirit evident in the Foxes. Tottenham have already recorded a 4-1 victory against City and will see the result here as integral to their title challenge—especially with the league leaders facing an equally challenging visit to the Emirates. With all of the top 4 playing this weekend, it could be a pivotal moment in a wide open title race.
It is testament to Tottenham’s cohesion this season that young Kevin Wimmer can step into the first XI so seamlessly following the injury to Vertonghen. A couple of shaky moments aside, the Austrian has looked comfortable next to the indomitable Alderweireld and ought not fear City’s attack. Although there were rumours linking him with a loan move away, Wimmer must be pleased he stuck around and is taking his chance with both hands. If this game is a success there’s no reason he can’t press on and become first choice.
Surely a lock for a place in the England Squad this summer, Alli could well be in the starting line up for Hodgson. His perfect assist for Kieran Trippier to unlock Watford’s defence delighted White Hart Lane, but the young Englishman is only a part of a very strong squad. Alli has a penchant for mischief and has been lucky to avoid a booking several times this season. There’s a fine line to tread—Spurs have benefitted from his combative nature, but the sly knock to Yohan Cabaye in the Crystal Palace match will only increase referee scrutiny of him.
At times this season the Argentinian megastar has been the only player worth having on the field for Manchester City. Aguero has bailed out the Citizens more than once, and this over-reliance on a player so prone to injury will do their title ambitions no favours at all. Spurs have the best defensive record in the league, but Aguero has previous against the North Londoners and will be confident of adding to his staggering 10 goals in 8 games against them.
Current reports suggest that Kompany is fit and ready to play a part against Spurs this weekend. He has watched from the sidelines as City’s defence has been embarrassed at several points this season, including the last time they played Spurs. Considering the cost of that defensive unit, Pellegrini should be getting better out of them—the Citizens blatantly can’t rely on Kompany forever.