Competition/Round: 2018/19 English Premier League – Matchday 34
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh
TV Info: Sky Sports Premier League (UK); NBCSN (USA)
Live Stream: SKY GO Extra (UK); NBC Sports Live, Fubo.tv (USA) Fubo.tv shows every Manchester City game in a high-quality, legal stream. New to Fubo.tv? Click here to sign up for a discounted rate.
Radio: BBC Radio Manchester (UK); TalkSport Radio World (USA)
After a dramatic and controversial UEFA Champions League Quarter-final tie, Manchester City will face Totenham Hotspur for the third time in 11 days. The Sky Blues will host the Spurs on Saturday in this English Premier League fixture.
Manchester City were left gutted after their Quarter-final affair against Tottenham Hotspur, but it was City manager Pep Guardiola who paid the ultimate price. Over the course of two weeks, Manchester City played five matches: the FA Cup Semi-Final, two EPL games and the two legged Champions League Quarter-final. Given their congested schedule, Guardiola took a gamble and fielded a weaker side in the first leg, believing he could reverse the tie in the second leg. On the surface, his gamble worked. City cruised past a stubborn Crystal Palace side on Sunday before defeating Tottenham in the second leg of the Quarter-finals. In other words, City technically won the two subsequent matches after their 1-0 loss in London. Due to the away goal rule in the Champions League, however, City were eliminated from the competition. This left the City faithful angry and disappointed, and the Sky Blues will be out for revenge on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are buzzing. Few predicted the Spurs to advance from this tie, and after a hard fought performance, Tottenham will advance to the Champions League Semi-Finals. This will be the first time they have competed in the Semi-Finals. The Spurs made history, but they cannot be complacent. They will be mentally, physically and emotionally drained from this tie, but they cannot forget the race is still on for a top four finish in the EPL. Whilst they may still qualify for the Champions League next season through the competition itself, Spurs also need to perform in their final five EPL fixtures. The race for the top four is very tight between Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, and the Spurs cannot afford to give up more ground. If they are caught in dreamland, they will surely be punished.
Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabian Delph and Claudio Bravo are doubtful.
Tottenham Hotspur are without the injured Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lanela, Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Serge Aurier.
Ederson; Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, B. Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sané
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Lloris; Trippier, Sánchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Wanyama, Alli; Son, Eriksen, Moura; Llorente
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
Manchester City are angry, disappointed and shell-shocked after Wednesday’s encounter with Tottenham Hotspur, but now is not the time for self-pity. The Sky Blues already won the Community Shield and EFL “Carabao” Cup this season, and are still on course for two more pieces of silverware. The Mancunians know if they win their final five EPL fixtures this season, they will retain the EPL title. This is easier said than done, but the path forward is clear.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have the opportunity to once again play spoiler as they look for a top four finish. Should the Londoners win this match, this will surely derail City’s title defence. Moreover, a victory on Saturday would see the Spurs gain momentum for their own aspirations this season.
Both sides will show fatigue from their entertaining Quarter-final fixture on Wednesday, and this may result in a low scoring affair. Moreover, it is likely both sides will see a heavy rotation in their respective lineups. Therefore, it could be anyone’s game.
Nonetheless, Guardiola previously stated the EPL is “the most important title,” and viewers will see if he is right. It will be a difficult affair, but City will do just enough to edge this match in order to keep their title hopes alive.
Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur