EPL preview: Iheanacho, City mates ready for Tottenham clash
Tottenham and Manchester City, the top two teams in the land face off this weekend in what should be a cracker at White Hart Lane. Pep Guardiola is taking to the Premiership like fish to water, having won all six games he has played so far this season, including a solid 2-1 win over city rivals, Manchester United at Old Trafford in September to perch at the top of the table.
Tottenham, on the other hand, didn’t have the best of starts to the new season, but seem to have gotten into their groove with three wins on the bounce after starting with just one win in their first three games. Both teams are unbeaten and might remain that way at the end of ninety minutes if they cancel each other out.
The North London side will be without their top scorer for the past two seasons, Harry Kane, who is currently nursing an ankle injury. However, South Korean winger Son Heung-min has taken over scoring duties, scoring the club’s last three goals in all competitions, which included a brace in last week’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.
Son’s form will cause a little bit of headache for Mauricio Pochetino as he would have to decide if the Korean will play centrally, ahead of Vincent Janssen, who is supposed to be the club’s number one striker in the absence of Harry Kane, as that would allow him play three attack-minded players behind him in Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Dele Alli and use a midfield double pivot of Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko in the heart of the pitch against Manchester City, who defend very high up the field.
Manchester City, for all their attacking verve, have only been able to keep just one clean sheet in six league games this season and that is one area they would hope to improve on as they go into this top of the table clash against a Spurs side brimming with lots of attacking talents. The Citizens have so far relied on outscoring their opponents, compensating for their shaky defense, but that might not work against this very disciplined Tottenham team as they would have to be on top of their game defensively.
Sergio Aguero returned to the team last week with a brace against Swansea, after seating out the last three league games with suspension, but despite his outstanding record against Tottenham, finding the net ten times in nine games against the lilywhites, he failed to score against them home and away in the league last season and would want to correct that ‘anomaly’.
This should be a very interesting game to watch as we would all love to see if Pochettino’s compact and disciplined style will be able to stifle Guardiola’s expressiveness and will also find out how Tottenham will react to the ball hogging of Manchester City. Will they be able to maintain their shape and discipline while Manchester City control possession? or will they lose patience and get frustrated without the ball? We will find out Lunch time on Sunday.
Before Tottenham and Manchester City begin hostilities on Sunday, Liverpool will have the opportunity to usurp Spur’s position on the table with a victory over Swansea at the Liberty stadium.
The Merseysiders were ruthless last weekend when they thrashed Hull City 5-1 and have won their last three games on the bounce. Jurgen Klopp’s men have been in irresistible form, scoring eleven goals in their last three games and it will take a huge defensive effort from Swansea to keep out the rampaging reds. The Welsh side have been having a torrid time as they have only garnered one point from a possible fifteen and Coach Francesco Guidolin’s job seems to be hanging by a thread.
Some other games to look out for this weekend will be Swansea vs Liverpool, Manchester United vs Stoke City, Leicester City vs Southampton and Hull City vs Chelsea. The Red devils will be looking to consolidate on their splendid 4-1 victory over the champions last weekend with another win when they host their former player Mark Hughes and his Stoke City side, while Leicester City will need to shake off that devastating defeat from last weekend when they host rapidly improving Southampton at the King Power Stadium and Chelsea will need to buck the losing trend they’ve been on in the past two weeks with a positive result against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. It promises to be a very interesting weekend in the EPL and we cannot wait to see how it pans out.
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