It surely can’t get any better than match day one can it? Well given how many times Guardiola has insisted during pre-season that the squad can improve on the last two season’s we should certainly expect our Catalan manager to be driving his players even further on from that 5-0 opening weekend victory at West Ham.
Next up for Manchester City is a huge clash on match day two against a side that will be looking to push even harder for a title challenge this season – Tottenham Hotspur. It’s far too early to suggest that the outcome of this game will have any impact on the final destination of the Premier League crown come May next year, but whoever wins it will certainly gain a mental boost from a victory. Ahead of this one, we spoke to lifelong Spurs fan and YouTube personality Max (@xDuoMax), to get his thoughts ahead of the weekend’s game.
Given the impact VAR had on match day one, and with Manchester City and Spurs both being very familiar with it after last season’s Champions League clash; what are your thoughts on the system?
VAR as a whole is obviously being introduced to combat any faults the officials may get wrong – that being said I fully back the system, but can’t get my head around the pain inflicted on fans when a goal is taken away from you. The heartbreak Manchester City fans encountered in the Champions League last season against Spurs was one of the most crazy, but correct, decisions I’ve ever seen. You could speak on that incident for a while yet!
How would you assess Spurs’ start to the new campaign against Aston Villa?
Our opening game against Aston Villa couldn’t have got off to a worse start! You have to laugh as it’s such a ‘Spursy’ thing to do. We were always confident that we would get back in to the game, but left it ridiculously late. Following the introduction of Christian Eriksen, who should have started the game, off the bench, we looked more creative and finally found a way through via new boy Tanguy Ndombele and a Harry Kane double. The crowd knew it was never finishing 1-0 Villa – the atmosphere and the way Spurs get behind their team in the new ground suggested a comeback was always going to happen!
Prior to his goal, there was a lot of criticism of Tanguy Ndombele, a man Manchester City were reportedly interested in over the summer – what do you make of the midfielder and how crucial will he be in Spurs’ title challenge this season?
Tanguy Ndombele started the game and had plenty of time on the ball. He showed plenty of attributes that I am very excited to see – and obviously the best start to your debut is to score, and he did exactly that! Mauricio Pochettino still believes we only saw 30/40% of his ability – he will definitely link up well with Sissoko and this is what excites me, as he’s another player that turned a corner in the last season or so.
I’m not too sure why Tanguy received criticism, but it’s easy for fans of opposition sides to pounce on a player, especially when they know his transfer value. Obviously we are going to expect big performances from a man who cost in excess of £60 million.
With Manchester City being the majority of fans’ favourites for the 19/20 Premier League crown, who has the greater chance of pushing City the furthest between Spurs and Liverpool?
City are clear favourites for the league in my opinion, and with most pundits/bookies. They have multiple options all over the pitch, whether that’s going forward or the defensive side of their game.
I’m excited to see this Spurs side with the new signings being involved, as I feel we’ve done amazing business and this could potentially be the year we battle it out at the top. Liverpool are always going to be a massive threat – the front three in their side are outrageous; quick, ability in passing and shooting, and can interchange roles high up the park. Liverpool are a joy to watch for any football fan. It will definitely be an interesting battle between Spurs and Liverpool this season.
How important is this game for both sides to win and gain an early advantage on a fellow title contender?
Having a game of this magnitude so early on in the season is crazy. You can’t predict who’s season it’s going to be from this game however. What we will find out is which team is up for it, and really wants to make a name for themselves! Unfortunately we won’t rush our new signings in – if the game came a few months later in the season then you’d be seeing Pochettino’s best side in my opinion. I feel Pep Guardiola certainly knows his strongest side, which may benefit City this weekend.
How do you see this weekend’s fixture going?
I can see this one being end to end – both teams love to attack and whip the ball about quickly. I am gutted Heung-Min Son won’t be involved due to suspension, as he’s one to run at defenders and has caused Manchester City problems in the past. Having said that, I am still confident we can go to the Etihad Stadium and cause an upset but realistically I feel Pochettino will be looking to setup more defensively and go for the point.
Conceding early is not an option this time round! We may potentially see Lo Celso involved, but having not seen him play yet and with it being Manchester City after all, he may not make the squad. Christian Eriksen has to start after proving what he can bring to the side with Harry Kane and Lucas Moura ahead of him up top.
Who would make your Spurs starting XI and can you give us a score prediction?
My starting line-up would look like this: Hugo Lloris; Kyle Walker Peters, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose; Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks; Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Harry Kane
As for a score prediction, I’m going to back a 2-1 win for Spurs – I’m never going to bet against my home club! #Coys
You can follow us on twitter here: @City_Xtra
You can follow Max on twitter here: @xDuoMax
You can follow the author here: @FreddiePye_