Tottenham can bring Man City's winning run to an abrupt halt
Spurs to rein in runaway leaders
BT Sport 1, 5.30pm Saturday
Manchester City continue to bulldoze anything the Premier League can put in front of them but their winning streak could finally be about to come to a shuddering halt.
Terrific Tottenham, capable enough of going to Real Madrid and getting a draw and to Borussia Dortmund and getting a win, now face arguably the ultimate test against more Champions League heavyweights.
But Mauricio Pochettino’s side look like they can apply the brakes – albeit momentarily – to Pep Guardiola’s downhill ride to the title.
City backers believing a record-extending 16th straight Premier League win is an inevitability may well point to the fact that Tottenham haven't had the greatest results away at other members of the big six, with just one road win out of 17 matches since Pochettino arrived at White Hart Lane in July 2014.
But that one road triumph was at Manchester City, who haven’t beaten Spurs in any of their last four league showdowns.
That almost makes Tottenham a bogey side and there is no way City will be taking them lightly.
Given City’s form it’s not easy to argue with odds of 4-7 about the runaway leaders. Just look at the figures we are dealing with – 15 straight wins, 11 points clear, 15 more goals scored than anyone else.
We know how City are likely approach the game and they should boss possession and create more chances.
But we’ve also seen sufficient evidence in recent weeks to know they can be run close. Southampton were seconds away from stopping them while Huddersfield, West Ham and Manchester United – like Saints – were pipped by the odd goal in three.
City dominated every match and deserved to win them all, but if Huddersfield and the Hammers can frustrate them, so can Spurs.
Pochettino has flitted between a back three, four and five this season and four looks the way to go given the absence of a couple of key centre-backs, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld.
But three bodies in midfield to shield the back four can create that blanket around the edge of the box which worked for Huddersfield, West Ham and Southampton.
And, of course, Tottenham have that option to go long on the counter and boast a world-class centre-forward who may need only one chance and if there’s a genuine area of weakness with City it’s at set-plays.
They'll go off around the 5-1 mark but a more sensible course of action might be to back the Tottenham or draw double chance at 8-5.
It's unlikely Spurs will get rolled over. The last time they conceded more than two goals in a league game was at Newcastle in May 2016 – and there may not be many goals either.
Bookies don't agree. They go 4-7 over 2.5 goals, yet ten of Tottenham’s 17 matches this season have produced two goals or fewer and a disciplined defensive effort could well curb City’s famed attack.
Tottenham or draw double chance
1pt 8-5 Betfair
Vincent Kompany has joined John Stones and Benjamin Mendy on the casualty list.
Victor Wanyama is a week away from a return. Davinson Sanchez is suspended and fellow centre-back Toby Alderweireld is still crocked.
Tottenham are unbeaten in their last four matches against City.
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