Premier League football finally returns to the blue side of Manchester as City welcome Spurs to Etihad Stadium. Last season, Spurs lost the Champions League quarter final in Manchester, but went through thanks to their away goals and with the assistance of VAR, while City defeated to Londoners a few days later on their way to securing the second Premier League title in succession.
The blues have a strange history with their North London counterparts, and you never really know what to expect from this encounter, but what do the stats say?
Never Dull In Manchester
The weather may well be crap 90% of the time, but this fixture never usually fails to ignite. Over the last nine matches in Manchester, there have been 38 goals scored, an average of 4.2 goals per game. City have scored most of those and have won by four goals or more on four of those matches. Last season’s 4-3 Champions league win was the first time since a 3-2 win in December 2002 that Spurs have scored more than 2 in this fixture.
So Who’s Always On Top?
It seems these two teams always have one team on top and the mixture of wins to defeats are few and far between, with the only period where neither team was superior came between August 1952 and October 1966, with both teams winning six of the fourteen matches played during that period.
The two teams first met in Manchester in the FA Cup in 1909, which Spurs won, but then City went on an 18 match unbeaten home run, winning 14 of those matches between January 1911 and February 1952. City then enjoyed another bout of superiority for the next 23 matches, winning 13 and losing just 3
The blues are currently in the middle of one of the best run of form against Spurs in modern times. City have just a solitary home defeat in this fixture in the last ten games, stretching back to May 2011. That one defeat came in February 2016, when Spurs won 2-1in Manchester. Other than that, City have eight of those matches, with a solitary draw coming in January 2017, when the match ended 2-2.
It’s in star contrast to City’s previous run, which saw City win one in 12 matches, however if you really want to be pedantic, you could say that City won 2 matches in 17, stretching back to October 1992. The blues only wins in that period was a 5-2 win at Maine Road in October 1994 and a 2-1 victory in March 2008. Spurs on the other hand, won a depressing 12 matches, including two League Cup wins and an FA Cup triumph.
Goalless? Not Likely
This fixture always brings goals and the term goalless draw is almost never used. The last time this fixture ended 0-0 was way back in September 2003, but you’d have to go back even further to find the previous 0-0. That happened in February 1974, with only two other goalless draws occurring in the history between the two sides – January 1926 and December 1954.
By comparison, the goal count in Manchester is quite high, and it makes good reading for City fans. Of the 238 goals scored in this fixture, 148 have been by the boys in blue, with Spurs scoring 90 so far. The Highest Number of goals scored in one match stands at 8, when City beat Spurs 6-2 at Maine Road in March 1962,with City’s 5-2 win in 1994 coming close and if City’s disallowed goal in the Champions League last season had stood, that would have equalled the record. There have been five occasions where six goals have been scored, with City winning 6-0 and recording two 5-1 wins, while Spurs 4-2 FA Cup win in March 1993 is their only win where six goals had been scored. The other match was a 3-3 draw back in February 1922.
Big Wins For The Blues – Not So Much For Spurs
There have been some big wins between these two, with City getting pretty much most of them. The biggest victory by either side is City’s 6-0 demolition of Spurs in November 2013, when Jesus Navas scored before most of the ground realised the match had started! Other big wins include City’s 5-2 victory in 1994 when Jurgen Klinsmann featured for Spurs, 5-0 in May 1977, 6-2 in March 1962 and 5-1 in September 1957, followed by the same scoreline in November the following year.
By contrast, Spurs biggest win is the 4-2 FA Cup win in 1993, which is only the second time in the history of this fixture that Spurs have scored more than three times in Manchester
Clean Sheets? Not Really
It took eight games in Manchester for one of these side to record a first clean sheet, when City beat Spurs 2-0 in March 1921. Since then, there have been just 31 clean sheets from 83 matches between the two sides. The longest period of successive clean sheets came between March 1923 and January 1926, when City prevented Spurs from scoring on four occasions, winning three of them.
Spurs longest run of clean sheets is just two matches, but have achieved this on three occasions, although between September 2003 and December 2007, they limited City to just two goals in six matches - 0-0, 1-1, 0-1, 0-2, 1-2 and 0-2.
Blues On Top In August – Just
City and Spurs have met seven times in August and City just about have the upper hand. The blues have won three times and Spurs just once, with three draws (score draws of course). The only time Spurs have beaten City in August in Manchester was 1952, when they won 1-0, whilst the last time these two faced off in this month was 19th August 1995, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
City and Spurs have a bit of history of players that have played for both clubs. Some of the more recent ones include Kyle Walker, Emmanuel Adebayor, Vedran Corluka and Ben Thatcher. Delving a little, further, Michael Brown made his league debut for City, in the 90’s before joining Spurs in 2004, while Paul Walsh also featured for both clubs in the 90’s. Goalkeeper Bobby Mimms was loaned to City from Everton in 1987, but signed for Spurs in 1988. Clive Wilson was part of City’s squad in the 1980’s and joined Spurs in 1995. City’s combative midfield general Neil McNab arrived in 1983, but had signed for Spurs in the 70’s while his team-mate at Maine Road in the 1987/88 season Paul Stewart, moved to Spurs for the at the time huge sum of £1.7m. Former Spurs striker Clive Allen joined City in 1989, having scored 60 goals in 105 matches for the London club.
How will Saturday’s game end? Will the blues continue their good form against Spurs or will the Londoners upset the odds and the stats?