Manchester City (2.11*) manager Pep Guardiola conceded that his team’s title race was over following a 4-0 defeat to Everton last weekend, and Mauricio Pochettino may have to make a similar admission if his team does not take all three points at the Etihad on Saturday.
But Tottenham Hotspur, who have won each of their last six matches, have a very good chance of heaping further misery on Guardiola. Spurs to win at 3.75* looks like a valuable betting opportunity.
Pochettino’s team beat City 2-0 in October on a day in which Harry Kane – who bagged a hat-trick last weekend – was absent.
City have been beaten by Tottenham, Manchester United (in the league cup), Chelsea and Liverpool this season, suggesting that Guardiola has struggled to get things right against the big teams. This record is likely to continue given that the visitors will be oozing confidence following their thumping win against West Brom while City are in poor spirits. Guardiola’s defeatist interview suggests his players could be set for a spell of poor results.
And a Tottenham win is not without precedent. Pochettino’s team beat City 2-0 in October on a day in which Harry Kane – who bagged a hat-trick last weekend – was absent. What’s more, Man City have lost two of their last three away games and face a crisis in central midfield.
Injuries to Fernando and Ilkay Gundogan, coupled with Fernandinho’s suspension, should allow Spurs to comfortably dominate through the middle. Dele Alli will surely run rings around the hapless duo of Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure.
Incredibly, Man City have not scored more than two goals in a home league match since September. Their creative problems in Manchester could be their downfall on Saturday. Spurs have conceded just 14 goals this campaign, the fewest in the division. All signs point to an away win.
*Odds subject to change