Verdict: Under 3.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/11
In what is a mouth-watering way to open this year’s Premier League campaign, Tottenham will welcome Manchester City to North London on Sunday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, while most of the headlines in the build-up to Sunday’s opener might have been stollen by Harry Kane’s potential move to The Sky Blues, the North London outfit are beginning a new adventure this season. With it confirmed over the summer that former Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo would be the man to replace Ryan Mason as the new permanent coach in their dugout, The Lilywhites have enjoyed an eye-catching pre-season run. Managing to pick up what was a real morale-boost last weekend as they secured a 1-0 victory against bitter rivals Arsenal, Spurs were unbeaten in each of their five friendly outings. Just about managing to scrape themselves a spot in the inaugural UEFA Conference League thanks to a 4-2 win against Leicester on the final weekend, Santo will know that his side face a stern test on Sunday afternoon. Hit with a 1-0 loss when they faced off against City in the EFL Cup final back in April, Tottenham have suffered back-to-back defeats against the defending champions.
Heavily linked with a move to Manchester City this summer, it still remains to be seen if England skipper Harry Kane will feature on Sunday afternoon.
However, new signing Bryan Gil has trained with his new teammates all week and could be set for a spot on the bench. But, fellow new arrival Cristian Romero is doubtful with a knock sustained at the Copa America.
As for the visitors, while Manchester City might open the 2021/22 campaign tipped as a leading pick to defend their Premier League crown, The Sky Blues were left heartbroken at Wembley last weekend. Eventually watching Leicester snatch a last-gasp winner in their Community Shield showdown at Wembley, Pep Guardiola will be desperate for his side to find a much-welcomed boost when they return to North London on Sunday. Breaking the bank and bringing in Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish for a deal worth £100million last week, the former Barcelona boss saw his side largely impress last season with their displays on the road. Despite getting hit with a shock defeat against Brighton in their final contest away from the Etihad, City did pick up a remarkable 36 points from their final 13 Premier League contests on their travels. Lifting the EFL Cup title thanks to that 1-0 win against Spurs at Wembley back in April, Guardiola’s men should be looking to lay down an early marker.
In what is a real blow to Manchester City this weekend, the defending champions will be without both Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden when they travel to the capital.
However, making a record-breaking move to the Etihad over the summer, Jack Grealish is in line to make his debut for Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday.
Key Factors to Consider
- Including a 1-0 win when the two sides faced off in April’s EFL Cup final, Manchester City have picked up back-to-back wins against Spurs.
- However, Tottenham have won each of their last three straight meetings against City on home soil.
- The Sky Blues collected 36 points from their final 13 Premier League contests on the road last season.
- Each of the last four meetings between Sunday’s opponents in North London have finished with under 2.5 goals.
- Wantaway striker Harry Kane claimed his third Golden Boot last season as he bagged 23 Premier League goals.
While Manchester City might open Sunday’s meeting as a landslide pick with the bookmakers, The Sky Blues might be dealing with a hangover after last weekend’s defeat in the capital. Watching Leicester snatch a last-gasp winner at Wembley and lift the Community Shield, Guardiola’s men do hold what is a concerning record away at Spurs. Losing each of their last three away trips to a Tottenham squad that might be going through a real transition under new boss Nuno Espírito Santo, we could have another low-scoring affair. With each of the last four meetings between Sunday’s opponents in North London seeing under 2.5 goals, we’re backing a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Under 3.5 goals
Best Odds: 4/11