Manchester City welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester as the battle of the Premier League’s unbeaten teams commences.
Neither team have suffered defeat this season and both have exactly the same record – W4 D2, with City’s superior goal difference being the only separating factor between the two. Spurs have been touted as our ‘bogey’ team, a myth that we’ll dispel in a separate article, but here, we take a look at the visitor’s season so far.
Spurs are firing on all cylinders at the moment, which they usually do before fading towards the end. Currently in third place in the league, Spurs have knocked in 12 goals, an average of two per game, and also jointly hold the best defence along with Brighton, both teams conceding just five.
They started their season with a 4-1 home win over Southampton, before a fiery 2-2 encounter at Chelsea saw both managers receive red cards. Successive victories at home to Wolves (1-0) and away to Forest (2-0) was followed with a 1-1 home draw with West Ham.
In their last league game, Spurs overcame Fulham (2-1) at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while in the Champions League on Wednesday, they left it late before beating 10-man Marseille 2-0.
Spurs are currently unbeaten in 13 matches, and the last time they suffered defeat was a 1-0 home loss to Brighton in April.
New faces in north London
Spurs were fairly active in the transfer market over the summer. They signed Croatia star Ivan Perisic in May and Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster, both on free transfers. Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma signed in a £25m deal, while Everton’s Brazilian striker Richarlison arrived for a reported £60m. Also arriving in London were right-back Djed Spence from Middlesbrough for an initial £12.5m and Udinese left-back Destiny Udogie for £16million.
Winger Steven Bergwijn joined Ajax for £27m, while Giovani Lo Celso (Villarreal) Tanguy Ndombele (Napoli) and Harry Winks (Sampdoria) all left on loan.
Who to watch
Spurs duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min once again lead the Spurs front line. Kane is currently Spurs’ top scorer with five goals from seven matches. He has attempted 19 shots in total, the highest in the Spurs line-up, while Richarlison has scored two from six games. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has also notched two goals, but from seven matches played. Son is yet to score, so we can pretty much guess what will happen on Saturday.
Perisic leads the assist charts, claiming three so far from seven matches. Richarlison has provided two and Son has one assist. The worrying factor about the South Korean star is that he’s created the most chances in the Spurs side with 15, and you get the feeling that some of those will soon begin to be converted.
Who’s the boss?
Antonio Conte is the man at the helm at Spurs. Appointed in November last year, he took over from Nuno Espirito Santo, who had been sacked 24 hours earlier. At the time, Spurs had faded dramatically, dropping from the top of the league to 9th, suffering five defeats in their first ten matches. Conte steadied the Spurs ship and guided them to Champions League qualification, securing their place with a 5-0 hammering of Norwich City at Carrow Road on the final day of the season.
Conte has presided over 43 matches for Spurs, winning 26 and losing 10, giving him a win ratio of an impressive 60%.