The international break is upon us, but that won't happen before the two best teams in English football clash at one of the best stadiums in English football on a Sunday afternoon match in London that promises to be more fun than the NFL game happening just a few miles from there.
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City face off at White Hart Lane, and the two Premier League leaders will each face their toughest test yet. For Spurs, who apart from Liverpool haven't really faced any true title contenders, it's a chance to confirm their unbeaten start isn't a fluke due to weak opposition. For City and Pep Guardiola, it's the first real test against an established side that will fight them for the league trophy and present various challenges to the Sky Blues.
Mauricio Pochettino and Guardiola are perhaps the two best managers in the Premier League, and their coaching duel is only one of the things that make this a must-see game. Both teams love to attack, play defense and pressure their opponents until they get the ball back, then work the ball well, play great football and score lots of goals. They're different yet very similar sides who promise to produce a sensational 90 minutes at the Lane.
This will be loads and loads and loads of fun.
Date/Time: Sunday, October 2, 2016, 2:15pm local time (BST), 3:15pm CET (Europe), 9:15am ET, 6:15am PT (US), 6:45pm IST (India)
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, England
Referee: Andre Marriner
TV listings: NBCSN (US), Telemundo (US - Spanish), Sportsnet (Canada), Sky Sports 1 (UK), Star Sports 4 SD/HD (India), elsewhere
Man City: There are no fresh injury concerns for Pep after the incredible 3-3 draw in the Champions League visit to Celtic. Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph miss out through injury, while Nolito will serve the third and final match of his domestic suspension. Yaya Touré's agent hasn't apologized yet, so his client is once again not playing.
The defense was a concern in Scotland, so John Stones will certainly return to the team. Raheem Sterling is playing like a star, and he'll need to be at his best to break down Spurs' amazing defense. David Silva will make plays in place of De Bruyne, and there's doubt on whether Fernandinho or Gundogan will play alongside him in central midfield. This will be the third game in eight days for City, so the German might not start and be rested at least in the first half. If Fernandinho moves higher up the pitch, Fernando and Aleix Garcia will fight for the holding midfielder spot, with Fernando the most likely to start.
Spurs: Moussa Sissoko has a concussion, while Harry Kane misses out through an ankle injury. These are the only problems for Pochettino, who sees three very important players (Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele) recover from injury in time to face the Citizens. Vincent Janssen is yet to score in the Premier League as Kane's replacement, but he works hard and will present a problem to the City defense.
Son Heung-Min is playing incredible football over the last two or three weeks, and is definitely the biggest concern when Spurs have the ball. But their full-backs love to attack with pace, their midfielders can defend and attack, and Christian Eriksen is always a set-piece threat. Plus they'll have the White Hart Lane crowd, which makes Spurs a very, very tough team.
Spurs (4-3-3, r-l)
Lloris | Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose | Wanyama, Dier, Dembele | Son, Janssen, Eriksen
Man City (4-1-4-1, r-l)
Bravo | Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov | Fernando | Sané, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling | Agüero
This game will be so, so, so tough. But also fun and full of tactical battles all over the pitch. But City have more talent and a manager who loves big games. We'll stay perfect with a 2-1 win.