Tottenham face Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night, with victory putting Spurs top of the Premier League table, if only for 24 hours.
There are no new injury concerns after the international break for either side, however Spurs will be without Matt Doherty who tested positive for coronavirus while with the Republic of Ireland. Erik Lamela “is still in the last period of his recovery” and Harry Winks has a “little problem” putting both in major doubt ahead of Saturday’s fixture.
Steven Bergwijn is training at Hotspur Way and is said to be available for Saturday despite being dropped by the Netherlands national team after being deemed “not fit enough” following a groin issue. Japhet Tanganga is also back is training after being out with a back injury for nearly two months.
Manchester City are without Fernandinho who has ‘stomach problems’, meanwhile Raheem Sterling, who missed international duty with England, and Sergio Aguero have both returned to training for City and could possibly feature on Saturday. Reports suggest defenders Nathan Ake and Benjamin Mendy are also doubts.
Spurs fans would’ve been worried about the availability of Heung-Min Son earlier this week with 10 of South Korea’s playing and coaching staff testing positive for coronavirus, however Spurs fans will be happy to know that Son has returned two negative tests and “is fine to play”.
Both teams face a busy period with both teams having to play at least two games a week until after the new year due to European commitments as well as the EFL Cup quarter-finals. It is an especially difficult period for Spurs who have to face City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester all within the next month and they’ll be hoping to kick off this period in the right way by beating City on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho will face Pep Guardiola for the 24th time in his management career on Saturday with Mourinho looking for his 7th win over the Spaniard, and Guardiola looking for his 12th win in what is always a fierce contest no matter the teams that they manage. In their time in England however it has been even, both managers winning three times and drawing once.
Mourinho and Guardiola both marked this week with personal milestones – Mourinho has now been Spurs’ manager for a full year, while Guardiola has renewed his contract until 2023.
Both teams have players rich in form following the international break with Ferran Torres scoring a hat-trick against Germany for Spain, whilst Phil Foden scored a brace for England against Iceland. Meanwhile Spurs had four players record a brace of assists during the break: Son, Lo Celso, Bale and Winks.
Spurs are yet to lose since the opening day defeat against Everton in the league and are looking to continue this run. City are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions.
Tottenham’s win over City in February at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium courtesy of a goal from debutant Steven Bergwijn was their first victory over Manchester City in their last six premier league fixtures.
Spurs and City have varying records in the league with both teams having the joint best defence in the league only conceding nine albeit Manchester City have played one less game, while Spurs are the 2nd highest scorers in the league with 19 goals, City only with 10.
The match will be refereed by Mike Dean who will be accompanied by Kevin Friend on VAR at Stockley Park.
Possible Spurs starting XI: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguillon, Højbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko, Bale, Kane, Son
Possible Manchester City starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Torres, Jesus
Where to watch? The game is live on Sky Sports Main Event on Saturday at 5:30 pm GMT.