Tottenham aiming for the top against City in the glamour tie of the weekend
Manchester City to win 2-1
Matches between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho always have a bit more of a focus on them due to the fierce rivalry they have shared over the years.
Although they faced up to each other when Mourinho was Manchester United boss, this is arguably the first time since being managers of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively that Mourinho feels he can get the better of his long-term rival.
Tottenham certainly have the better form right now. They are undefeated since the opening day of the season and have grown in both confidence and quality as the weeks have progressed.
They are showing the famous ‘winning even when not playing well’ quality, which is often said of the very best sides who challenge for titles.
Manchester City are also unbeaten for some time, but have struggled to consistently win games, drawing three of their last five.
Pep Guardiola’s contract renewal, however, may have come at the right time.
Form Guide (all comps): WLWWW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Longest current unbeaten run in the league
Taken 17 points from the last 21 on offer
Reasons to be fearful:
Mourinho has a lost 10 times against Guardiola – a career high
Scoring has been harder of late
Many feel that this is shaping up to be Tottenham’s best chance of winning the Premier League in decades, with a win from this game taking them top of the league, perhaps temporarily until Leicester’s game on Sunday.
Mourinho will be determined to lay down a marker against his greatest rival, one who he has lost against on 10 occasions in the past.
He has arguably the best strike partnership across Europe, with Son and Kane on 9 and 8 goals this season already.
They have found scoring a little more difficult of late, scraping past the likes of West Brom, Brighton and Burnley by just a single goal.
But they will welcome the challenge of Manchester City, who will present a real test of their title credentials, before facing Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool within the next few weeks.
Star Man – Harry Kane
Essential to what Spurs do, any chances of winning the league rest of his ability and fitness across the season.
Form Guide (all comps): DWWWD
Reasons to be cheerful
Pep Guardiola signing a new contract will give them a boost
Could be boosted by return of Aguero
Reasons to be fearful
Only won three of their seven outings so far this season
Have struggled to turn draws into victories
Often in football, a piece of good news can be the catalyst a team needs to kickstart their season.
Tying Pep Guardiola down to a new two-year deal will give the players, as well as the club in general, a huge boost – one which could translate onto the pitch this weekend.
City will be left waiting on injury concerns, however, as they exited the International break with more concerns than their opponents.
Sergio Aguero may be fit once more to lead the line, however Raheem Sterling withdrew from England duties with a calf complaint, while the game may come too soon for the likes of Fernandinho and Nathan Ake.
They must improve in front of goal – scoring only 10 times in their lowest after seven games since 2010, and way below the 27 goals at this stage last season.
Star Man – Gabriel Jesus
Has returned from injury with a bang and given the team a focal point in front of goal
Hard to call which way the result could swing
Tottenham have the inform players, but haven’t sparkled of late
City will be looking for a win to kickstart their season
In a game as tight to call as this, it could well be the positivity surrounding Guardiola’s new deal that could spur City onto victory.
Of course, you would not easily back against Jose Mourinho, especially as he has had two weeks to prepare for this one.
It should be a cracking game, but one which City could just edge.
Manchester City to win 2-1