Despite suffering a second consecutive home Derby defeat on Wednesday night, Manchester City’s blitzing first half performance at Old Trafford in the first leg was enough to secure yet another trip to Wembley as Pep Guardiola’s side look to make it a hat-trick of league cups.
Attention now turn to the Premier League, as Guardiola prepares to resume his managerial rivalry with Jose Mourinho when City return to the capital on Sunday to face Spurs.
Leroy Sané is the only City player not in contention to feature on Sunday. The German has however returned to first team training and is said to be “doing really well.” Aymeric Laporte hasn’t played since the 1-0 win against Sheffield United over a week ago due “fatigue”, but could play on Sunday.
A player who won’t be featuring is Angeliño. Having made just 12 appearances since returning to City in the summer, the Spaniard was loaned out to RB Leipzig on the final day of the January transfer window.
Jose Mourinho could hand a debut to new signing Steven Bergwijn after his £26.7 million from PSV, whilst Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies all remain out with injuries.
Head To Head:
Sunday will be City’s second appearance at the new White Hart Lane, as the sides meet for the 161st time. City have won 63, drawn 36 and lost 61 of these games, but are unbeaten in 7 of their last 8 matches against Spurs. If City were to inflict Tottenham’s 9th league defeat of the season, then the North London side would become just the 6th team to suffer 400 top-flight defeats.
The two teams last met in August, where it was deja Vu for City players and supporters alike, with a last minute Gabriel Jesus winner ruled out by VAR. Memories of the Champions League second leg quarter final a few months before will have been fresh in the mind.
Despite Liverpool being just eight wins away from the Premier League and 19 points in front of second place City; the Blues come into the game unbeaten in their last five league matches, having won four of them by an aggregate score of 11-2. City have scored 65 goals in the Premier League already this season and Sergio Agüero is just one goal off Jamie Vardy, who is leading the golden boot race. City also have a near perfect record when playing in London, having won on 12 of their last 13 visits.
Jose Mourinho hasn’t made the greatest of impacts as Spurs boss, with the club currently sat in 6th place. They are however, part of a group of 10 teams who are separated by just four points. The Portuguese manager has only won one of his last five league matches having failed to beat Watford, Liverpool, Southampton and Norwich recently.
Guardiola has beaten Mourinho more times than any other manager and therefore tactically, Sunday’s encounter could be interesting. You wouldn’t expect Guardiola to go with the 4-2-3-1 formation that he used in the first leg of the Champions League game last season; the set-up also came under fierce criticism after the 1-0 defeat. The Catalonian is more likely to go with his preferred 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 set up despite the boss opting to go with a rather unorthodox 3-2-4-1 in the Derby last week.
Jose Mourinho is often hard to predict, but since taking charge of Spurs he’s enjoyed executing a 4-2-3-1 style set up. He did however, opt for a 4-4-2 when they travelled to Anfield to play Liverpool. Although they ultimately lost 1-0, this more compact set-up did work, and Spurs did have opportunities to take something from the game; therefore it wouldn’t be surprising if Mourinho did similar on Sunday.
Mike Dean will take charge of his 501st Premier League match after reaching the remarkable landmark of 500 games last weekend. The referee described as “footballs king of bants’ by the Guardian will be joined by assistants Ian Hussin and Dan Robathan and fourth official Graham Scott at White Hart Lane. Kevin Friend, who took charge of the semi-final second leg between City and United on Wednesday at the Etihad will be the Video Assistant Referee and he will be joined by Harry Lennard at Stockley Park.
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