Spurs star Ben Davies says Tottenham are expecting a backlash from Manchester City when they meet in the Premier League at Wembley on Saturday. Despite recent losses, the Spurs star and his teammates will not be underestimating the season’s runaway leaders.
Ben Davies ”I think it was how organised they were”
Ben Davies remembers just how difficult City were to play against in the reverse fixture.
”I think it was just how organised they were. They knew their roles down to a man on the pitch,” he added. They made it tough, they moved the ball quickly and on the day they were the better team.”
When speaking of Saturday evening’s clash, Davies said of City; ”It’s been a sticky patch for them but they have been flawless this season. It’s going to be a tough game, we are definitely expecting them to come all guns blazing and we’ve got to be ready for that.”
Some Spurs fans feel they will be facing a demoralised City following their Champion’s League exit to Liverpool, and dip in form. However, many, including Spurs left-back Ben Davies are expecting City to come out with a point to prove. In a crucial game for Spurs in terms of the top four finish, the clash promises to be an exciting affair.
City’s cups runneth under
City have lost their last three games, the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool, and the 3-2 defeat against Manchester United which prevented them from polishing off their title challenge last weekend.
In contrast, Spurs are on a roll, unbeaten in the league in their last 14. A new club record of 15 unbeaten games will stand if the runaway League leaders are defeated. Their opponents being the only outfit to do so this term.
Wembley winning ways
Only titleholders Chelsea have beaten the North Londoners at their temporary Wembley abode. A considerable feat following the so-called ’Wembley Hoodoo’ press at the start of their campaign.
City beat Spurs soundly 4-1 at the Etihad in the return fixture. A majority of the sold-out Wembley crowd will be hoping for revenge, thus halting the charge of Guardiola and his blues. The City boss will be determined not make it a fourth consecutive loss, unprecedented in his career.
Head to head, the two sides couldn’t be closer. Manchester City have won 59, Spurs 60 with 35 at level pegging.
Pochettino is spoiled for choice with a relatively full squad available. Only Harry Winks remains sidelined with an ankle problem.
The appearance, or not, of Toby Alderweireld is still under question. Pochettino has stressed that the complexity of his injury is the reason for his absence, and his health remains paramount. Somewhat quelling the contract debate rumblings and putting focus on the game.
Safer with Sanchez?
Davinson Sanchez has put in some excellent performances and could be starting again alongside Serge Aurier, Jan Vertonghen and Davies. Fans though disillusioned with the former Ajax defender amid rumours of a money wrangle, would be glad to see Alderweireld on the bench. His consistency has been key to many of Spurs’ performances thus far.
Kieran Trippier was said to be suffering from fatigue, but no news of his availability has yet been released.
Mousa Dembele continues to battle with fitness, but has nonetheless has put in some sterling shifts. He will be eager to reverse the City dominance of the last meeting. The home crowd will be looking toward him, Eric Dier and in-form midfielder Christian Eriksen to dictate the play.
With an FA Cup semi-final looming, Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to fire up the home crowd and start on the front foot. Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son will likely lead the forward line. Fans are still keen to see Lucas Moura in action, but with Erik Lamela also match fit, Pochettino has several options.
City will be without John Stones who remains sidelined with a groin injury, and Benjamin Mendy with a knee problem. Fernandinho is also unavailable as he serves the first of his two match ban. A ban imposed for his collection of ten yellow cards this term.
Kyle Walker will appear for the first time at a Spurs home match, and will likely start alongside Ederson, Kompany and Otamendi in defence. Kevin De Bruyne, Delph, Gundogan and Silva in the centre. Sergio Aguero, Sterling and Sane will also probably start the match.
⚪️ Spurs v City 🔵
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 11, 2018