Man City v Spurs
Sky Sports Main Event
City looking in a different league
December 15: Man City 1-1 West Brom.
Yet more points gone for Pep Guardiola’s men and something just didn’t seem right.
Fast forward a couple of months and City have played 15 games in all competitions since that stuttering display and won the lot.
It sounds highly impressive but it’s actually better than that.
No English top-flight club has ever strung together so many wins, City’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Swansea taking them past Preston’s 1891/92 team and Arsenal’s 1987/88 side.
“To do what we have done in the winter time and Christmas time is quite remarkable,” said Guardiola on Wednesday.
“It is the toughest time, but what is important is the way we are still playing with our consistency.”
Yep, City aren’t just getting it done with last-minute winners; they’re dominating games.
Looking at their results, 12 of the last 14 wins have been achieved with a winning margin of at least two goals. That includes the 4-1 win at Anfield last weekend that surely killed off ailing Liverpool’s chances.
Leaders City go into this one five points clear of Manchester United but they have a game in hand so it’s more than reasonable to call it eight.
Spurs hard to fathom
It seems we had Spurs pigeonholed as a typical Jose Mourinho side that left their fans wanting so much more.
A trio of Premier League losses to Liverpool, Brighton and Chelsea confirmed they were a tough watch and even the 2-0 home win over West Brom required patience.
That clash was goalless at the break before the Harry Kane-Son Heung-Min double act came good again after the break to secure a 2-0 victory.
And then suddenly Tottenham-world went a bit mad. With most expecting them to try and nick an FA Cup win at Everton the game turned into an absolute classic.
It was refreshing in lots of ways but the bottom line was that Spurs lost the match 5-4 after 120 minutes. Individual errors were a big reason and any repeat of this sloppiness will almost certainly be punished heavily by Manchester City.
Spurs start the weekend in eighth place but, like City, have a game in hand. If they won that, Tottenham would be just a point behind Liverpool, who occupy the final Champions League slot.
One interesting dynamic is the history between Guardiola and Mourinho.
The head-to-head used to be dominated by the Spaniard but not so much recently. Mourinho managed just three wins in his first 17 matches against Pep but the last seven show four wins, a draw and two defeats.
Since Mourinho took charge of Spurs he’s won both home games against City but this is the first time he’s taken them to the Etihad.
That said, he rather enjoyed his last trip to Manchester when Spurs pulverised United 6-1.
Despite that, it seems hard to oppose the hosts against anyone at the moment and Man City are just 1.364/11 to extend their win sequence to 16.
Tottenham are 10.09/1 to get the win and bring City’s run to a grinding halt. The Draw is big at 6.05/1.
City have won seven of their last 10 at home to Spurs and must wonder how on earth the visitors escaped with a 2-2 draw at the Etihad last season.
The stalemate isn’t out of the question though although I’ll find another way to get it working for me.
It might be that Spurs pull off a shock but the most likely pro-Tottenham-based bet is that one of their two main scorers – Kane or Son – finds the net.
Son has a superb record versus City having scored in six of his last eight appearances against them so he’s the one to focus on.
I’ll back him at 3/1 to score anytime and that’s my main bet.
Pep’s men have conceded in three of their last six games and in two of those they let in the opener. So, let’s also be bold and look at Son to bang in the first goal of the game.
Son scored twice inside the first 10 minutes of the infamous City-Spurs Champions League clash at the Etihad a few years ago while he netted the opener after only five minutes in Tottenham’s 2-0 home win over City in November.
It also looked as if he’d broken the deadlock at Anfield before being denied an offside flag. In short, Son is very capable of sticking away an early chance if it comes his way.
I’ll take that idea and combine a Son first goal with both the win and the draw in the Same Game Multi.
Son to score first and Man City to win is 28.91.
Son to score first and The Draw is 42.82.
I’m expecting goals but so is the market and Over 2.5 makes no appeal at 1.674/6. Unders is 2.427/5. It’s quite possible that Over 3.5 is in-play here and that’s 2.6413/8.
City’s defence has taken the plaudits but I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off Both teams to Score at 2.01/1.
Tottenham have netted in six of their last seven visits to City’s place.
Spurs have won just one of their last six Premier League away games (D3 L2), having won four in a row before that. However, they’ve not lost consecutive away league games since a run of three in October 2019 under Mauricio Pochettino.