Sat, Oct 18, 12:52pm by Mike Randall
Saturday, October 18, 10.45pm AET at Etihad Stadium, Live on Fox Sports
The Premier League is – thankfully – back in swing, after a week off.
The last time title fancy Manchester City ($1.50 with Sportsbet.com.au) and perennial under achiever Tottenham ($7 with Tomwaterhouse.com) squared off at the Etihad, it was nothing short of a slaughter.
Doubles to Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero, a goal to Alvaro Negredo and an own goal by Sandro meant the Citizens slotted six past a woeful Tottenham, despite having less possession (46 per cent to 54).
The Spurs simply won’t want a repeat of that, but the punters’ money says they don’t have much chance of reversing the result.
Centrebet.com’s Andrew Brown told AustralianGambling.com.au that City opened at $1.50, but have been shortened in to $1.44, despite no big bets.
“We expect them to go as low as $1.40 by game time, just from sheer weight of multi money,” Brown said. City accounted for Villa, 2-0 in Match Week 7, and is second on the Premier League table, but is already five points behind a marauding Chelsea.
Tottenham will be buoyed by last outing’s 1-0 win over an in form Southampton, which lifted them from 11th to sixth after some disappointing results.
Result: Manchester City win ($1.50 with Centrebet.com)
Correct Score: 3-1 ($11 with BetFred.com.au)
Goals: Over 3.5 ($2.52 with BetEasy.com.au)
If any side has had more recent dominance over another team in the Premier League, we haven’t heard of it. City has scored 22 times against Tottenham in the last six clashes between the two teams.
Yep, that’s nearly four a game. Hotspur has scored six in that time, making it 30 goals between the two. That’s epic and it’s no wonder the over 2.5 market is skinny with our recommended bookies. We’re going to ride history and go the over 3.5 with BetEasy and hope the goal fest continues.
Having said all that, the defending champions have dropped points in two of their opening three league matches at the Etihad this season. Hopefully they were just exceptions, and not the rule.
Sergio Aguero ($4.50 with Sportingbet.com.au)
Here are some numbers to provide you with plenty of food for thought when punting on first goal scorer. We know he’s a little short (not just in stature, but in price), but Aguero simply loves playing Tottenham. It’s like a training run for him. He has five goals in his last five games against them, scored a double in that 6-0 pillaging last year and he struck first at White Hart Lane, when City won 5-1 in the away clash. Load up.
Edin Dzeko ($5.50 with Sportsbet.com.au)
More food for thought – Dzeko has scored more goals against Tottenham than he has against any other side. To temper that, he only has two goals on the season. Needs two to reach 50 career Premier League goals and Tottenham might be the team to get him there. We’re going to be naughty and steal a bonus bet here, though, and we recommend you take a look at Frank “Grandpa” Lampard. The 36 year old has two in his last three and has carved out a regular spot for himself. Best odds are at Sportsbet.com.au ($8).
Nacer Chadli ($15 with Tomwaterhouse.com)
You only have to watch a Tottenham game to realise Chadli is Spurs’ most dangerous attacker. Lightening quick and never afraid to put his boot through one, Chadli has four goals on the seaons, including a first half brace in a 4-0 win over QPR. The Belgian missed national duties during the week with a hip problem, but is expected to play for Tottenham tonight.
Christian Eriksen ($15 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Eriksen’s solitary strike gave Spurs their first win in five matches when they last stepped out and we reckon he might be able to get on a roll if he can get on the board first against City. It’s probably going to be difficult for any attacker to get any time on the ball in a good position against City, but perhaps he can come from behind front man Adebayor and nip one past Hart.
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, James Milner, Frank Lampard, Fernando, David Silva, Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero
Early season boomer Stevan Jovetic is expected back from his hamstring complaint, but Manuel Pellegrini should stick to what has been working and keep the 4-4-2 that leaves Dzeko and Aguero up front. Fernando should slot straight back in, with serious doubts over Fernandinho’s hamstring. Samir Nasri is also out, but the biggest omission is expected to be Yaya Toure, after he was in action in the Ivory Coast’s 4-3 loss to Congo midweek.
Tottenham: Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Etienne Capoue, Ryan Mason, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Emmanuel Adebayor
Kyle Naughton wrecked his ankle against Southampton, but has a ready made replacement in Eric Dier and, as we mentioned, Chadli is also an injury concern, but he should be on the left wing when the first whistle goes on tonight. Lloris hurt himself and missed for France during the week, but has cover in Michel Vorm, should he miss.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has backed his side to bury its Manchester City hoodoo tonight.
He says confidence among his group is high and they’re not thinking about the past, but rather looking to build on last week’s win over Southampton.
“After our victory against Southampton, we need to keep the momentum, to reproduce the same actions and to try to get the three points.
“It’s not important now to think in the past. It’s important to look forward.”
“I don’t have any concerns about these results (in last season’s matches against City).”
City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he was taking nothing for granted, despite his side’s recent dominance over its opponent.
“We are not expecting to score six goals every time we play Tottenham,” Pellegrini said.
“Last year Spurs away was one of the best games we played. We hope to play a very good game but it will be very different (to last season).”
We reckon he’s a sneaky chance to slot the first goal and Lampard doesn’t mind stepping out against Tottenham. Lampard managed eight goals against Spurs during his 13 years with Chelsea and, as a former West Ham player, will surely cop a bit from the visiting supporters.
“I’ve done alright against Spurs over the years and playing them was always a big game at Chelsea,” he said.
“I think they’ll be up and around the top six this season. They may go through a slight transitional period but I was very impressed with their manager when he was at Southampton and if he can bring the same imprint on Tottenham, who arguably have more quality within their squad, they’ll do really well.”
While Lampard heaped praise on Spurs, their defender, Eric Dier, had plenty of admiration for the Sky Blues.
“They are a great side, I’ve watched them over the years and they’ve won a couple of Premier League titles, so they’ve proved themselves and we know this is a big test,” Dier said.
“These are the games everyone wants to be a part of and why you play football, to play in matches like this, against the biggest sides and the best players… You want to test yourself.”
“There is no point going unless you believe you can do something, so after the win against Southampton, we want to keep that momentum and try to get a positive result up there.”
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