Big Match Focus: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

‘Barca higher level than Man Utd’ – Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur will be desperate to prevent Manchester City from being crowned Premier League champions in front of the Spurs faithful on Saturday.

Premier League
Date: 15 April 2018
Round 33
Kick-off: 20H45 local time/02H45 HKT
Venue: Wembley Stadium

Referee: J. Moss
Assistants: S. Bennett, A. Halliday
Fourth official: S. Attwell

Head-to-head summary

Tottenham Hotspur 135 52 31 52
Manchester City 135 52 31 52

Previous encounter

Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur 16/12/17 (Premier League)

Manchester City goalscorers: I. Gundogan (14′), K. De Bruyne (70′), R. Sterling (80′, 90′)
Tottenham Hotspur goalscorers: C. Eriksen (90′)

Players to watch

Harry Kane added to his goal tally this season with the slightest of touches to direct Christian Eriksen’s free-kick home for a 2-1 win against Stoke. He now has 25 league goals and is eager to catch current leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah, making him the one to watch for Spurs this weekend.

With Sergio Aguero injured, Gabriel Jesus will get the nod for City. While both players have consistently proved their worth this season in front of the target, Jesus will be hoping to add to his nine league goals, aided by Leroy Sane and David Silva in attack.

Team form and manager quotes

Spurs come into this game unbeaten in 14 Premier League fixtures, in fourth place with 67 points, after last overcoming Stoke following a massive 3-1 win over Chelsea.

They were eliminated from the Champions League a few weeks back but are in the FA Cup semi-finals where they face Manchester United.

City, meanwhile, who were unable to defeat Manchester United last time out to claim the league, will be crowned champions with all three points against Spurs. They have been in freefall in the past few weeks, however, losing out to Liverpool in Europe while also suffering a sensational collapse at home to rivals United, losing the tie 3-2, having been 2-0 up at half-time.

Ahead of this game, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino told the club’s official website that his side’s mentality will be tested in the final few weeks of the season.

He said: “Mentality is so important – that the most important game is the next.

“Of course, what happened in the past is important, but that’s done.

“I think we’ve improved that mentality in the season, always wanting more, focusing on the next game.

“It’s like during a game. What is the most important ball? The next one. What happened before is not important, it’s already done. That mentality is so important and we’ve stepped up this season.

“My feeling is always to be positive. I’m an optimistic person.

“We need to keep pushing, winning games and this is a massive three points against Manchester City.”

City boss Pep Guardiola added: “We have to try to be who we were during the season.

“We are 13 points clear because we deserve to be there.

“In the last eight or nine games, we have lost one. We won last five in a row before United.

“Results are good. We need to think about the strong points of Tottenham, try to win the game. One of the successes we have had is when we drop points, we have then win, win, win win.

“In the Premier League maybe will be the first time we don’t get good results in a row.”

Team news

Manchester City will be without Sergio Aguero as he struggles to overcome a knee injury.

John Stones and Benjamin Mendy remain sidelined with injury as Fernandinho misses out through suspension.

Danny Rose is out for Tottenham with a calf injury.