Sports Mole brings you the team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League clash with Manchester City in London.
Spurs started life in their new ground with a win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday and will now be looking to secure a first-leg advantage ahead of their trip to the Etihad Stadium for the return fixture on April 17.
Tottenham had to be patient when it came to their new stadium, but the finished product is stunning and they started life in their new ground with a 2-0 success over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
The occasion aside, it was a huge three points for Spurs as they returned to the top four following a tough run of form in England’s top flight. Their attention now switches to the Champions League, though, and it promises to be a fascinating battle in the English capital on Tuesday night.
Tottenham booked their spot in the knockout round of the competition by finishing second to Barcelona in Group B. They were paired with Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16, but made light work of the Bundesliga giants, running out 4-0 winners on aggregate to make the final eight.
This is their first appearance in the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 2011, when they lost to Real Madrid. Tuesday will also bring the first ever European meeting between Tottenham and City, who do not have the same pedigree in this competition as the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.
It was always likely that there was going to be at least one all-English tie in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League. City are perhaps the team that the majority wanted to avoid, but Spurs will be looking to create some special early memories inside the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
It is shaping up to be a very interesting summer transfer window for Mauricio Pochettino‘s side, with as many as 12 players potentially being available for transfer. Funds will need to be spent in order to compete next term, but much will depend on whether Spurs can secure a top-four finish this season.
It would probably be fair to say that Pochettino’s team need to pick up a strong result in the first leg if they are to stand a chance of progressing to the semi-finals, where either Ajax or Juventus will be waiting.
City will provide serious opposition for the capital outfit, though, particularly when considering that Pep Guardiola‘s side have been victorious in each of their last 14 matches in all competitions.
Recent form: DWWDWW
Recent form (all competitions): LDWLLW
City kept their quadruple hopes alive by recording a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon. Watford are waiting for Guardiola’s team in the final and landing both domestic cups in addition to retaining the Premier League title would be seen as a wonderful campaign for the club.
The quadruple is very much on, though, and City are the favourites to progress to the semi-finals of the competition. Tottenham are, of course, a hugely talented outfit, but deep down Guardiola would have been pleased to draw Spurs when considering that the likes of Barcelona and Juventus were avoided, for now at least.
City have won their last eight in the Premier League, but are incredibly second in the table behind Liverpool, who beat Southampton on Friday night to return to the summit. The Citizens do have a game in hand, though, and will retain the title with six wins from their remaining six league fixtures.
It is a huge period of the season for Guardiola’s side when considering that they will have Tottenham three times in their next five matches in all competitions – twice in the Champions League and once in the league – while they also have the small matter of a trip to United for the derby on April 24.
City were knocked out by Liverpool at this stage of last season’s competition, but they will fancy their chances of picking up a positive result on Tuesday ahead of the return fixture later this month. Indeed, City have nine of their last 10 away matches in all competitions, which is a staggering run of form.
The English champions reached the semi-finals of the 2015-16 competition, which represents their best ever Champions League performance. They are many people’s favourites to land the trophy this term, though, having sent out a serious message in the round of 16 – thumping Schalke 04 10-2 on aggregate.
City dropped points in two of their six matches in the group stage of the competition, but comfortably topped Group F on 13 points to breeze into the next round. It was a fairly straightforward section, though, with Lyon qualifying in second spot behind Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim.
Having won four of their last six away European matches, the Citizens will be full of confidence heading into Tuesday’s match, but with Tottenham the fresher of the two teams, the visitors must be careful that they are not caught by surprise in London.
Recent form: WWDWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWW
That said, Pochettino could easily spring a tactical surprise with Harry Winks also in contention to start having appeared off the bench against Palace last time out.
As for City, their main injury concern surrounds the fitness of Sergio Aguero. The Argentine missed out against Brighton, but has returned to training ahead of the European affair and should start.
Fabian Delph is also back in training ahead of the clash, but Kyle Walker is expected to miss out with a hamstring strain while current first-choice left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is also a huge doubt.
Tottenham possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli, Rose; Son, Kane
Man City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Danilo, Laporte, Otamendi, Mendy; Gundogan, Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
Head To Head
Tuesday will bring the 157th competitive meeting between the two teams. City lead the head-to-head 61 wins to Tottenham’s 60, with the remaining 35 matches finishing level.
City have been victorious in each of the last three meetings between the two sides, though, including a 1-0 success at Wembley in the Premier League earlier this season.
Tottenham’s last win over City was a 2-0 home success in October 2016.
We say: Tottenham 1-1 Manchester City
It is a very tough match to call. Tottenham will be the fresher of the two teams having not played at the weekend, but it is really difficult to predict a City loss due to their incredible form. We fancy a 1-1 draw, which would leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on April 17.