In the recent January transfer window, Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola opted for no major signings to his squad, affirming his confidence towards his side that it is capable to challenge the available trophies, namely the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. Nevertheless, the team from the Blue Side of Manchester did suffer a huge loss in the form of João Cancelo as the 28-year-old wing-back had been loaned to German Bundesliga 1 side Bayern Munich. The transfer news caught everyone off guard, including fans of other Premier League clubs, because the Barreiro-born player had signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Manchester City until the end of the 2026/2027 Season approximately 12 months ago. Pundits in the football world cannot help but to speculate a possible fallout between the defender as well as his head coach, and his leaving means the Citizens will have big boots to fill as Cancelo had been a vital figure to City’s successes in recent years.
First Game without Cancelo
Nathan Aké had proven that he is capable of filling the wing-back role his Portuguese teammate excels at, but whether or not the Dutchman can do that on a regular basis remains to be seen. He is likely to be fielded at Cancelo’s position again when Manchester City plays Tottenham Hotspur away this weekend, as the team prepares its first game without the important flank icon. Pep Guardiola’s men would look forward to complete the league-double over Antonio Conte’s side and the last time Citizens did that in the 2018/2019 Season, they went on to lift their fourth Premier League title.
Since the loss against bitter rival Manchester United via a comeback defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester City had roared back and is now enjoying a three-game winning streak in all competitions, including a Premier League victory against their opponent this weekend (4-2 comeback triumph at the Etihad Stadium). Whilst for Tottenham, things had been a little bit rocky in their past seven games in all competitions since they had collected four wins and three defeats, and it is worth noting that the Harry Kane-led side had lost four of their last five fixtures at home.
Players to Watch: Kane, Mahrez and Haaland
The England captain is certainly eyeing for goals in this game as he is now one goal away from reaching two centuries of goals in the Premier League; The 29-year-old forward had scored 199 goals in 300 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur since making his Premier League debut back in 2010/2011 Season. As for Manchester City, their main man of the season, Norwegian Erling Haaland came back to life in the club’s last game in the Premier League, scoring another hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The hat-trick was his fourth for his new club in the league, and he had done so in only 19 games, the previous record holder for the fastest player to reach four hat-tricks in the Premier League was Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy; The Dutch striker managed four hat-trick in 65 appearances for the Red Devils.
Haaland would not be alone considering City’s powerful options in its strike force; His in-form teammate and Algeria national team captain Riyad Mahrez will play a huge part in the game as well. The 31-year-old winger, who had been in a fine form in recent times, is one of Spurs’ most-feared players as Mahrez had managed seven goals and four assists in the Premier League against them.
City vs Spurs: Match Prediction
Spurs have been known to be a tricky opponent in the Premier League as the team from North London is capable of beating the top teams while losing to strugglers in the relegation zone. We could be looking at a possible big win by Manchester City or even a small-margin victory by the team in white, but a draw is highly unlikely as the last seven meetings between both sides were ended with a team taking all three points in the Premier League or the victory in a cup competition.
Enzo Fernández became the most expensive player in the history of the Premier League: https://www.otherleague.com/football/chelseas-enzo-fernandez-top-signings-of-the-premier-league
𝐒𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐬 𝐯𝐬 𝐌𝐚𝐧 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲: 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 📈
Spurs led Man City 2-0 at half-time in their Premier League game just two weeks ago. Then the second half happened.
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) February 2, 2023