Tottenham Hotspur’s shiny new stadium hosts the first leg of an all-English Champions League quarter-final when Manchester City visit on Tuesday (3pm ET).
It is seven years since an English side last won the Champions League. With all four Premier League entrants having made it through to the last eight for the first time since 2009, there is a solid chance that winless run might just come to an end this time around.
Man City are as strong as candidate as any to be the ones to do it. They are the American offshore bookmakers’ favorites to lift the trophy for the first time in their history. They also top prominent statistics-based models. First, though, they must avoid the same fate that befell them last season, when fellow English side Liverpool eliminated them at this very stage.
City should, in theory, have less to worry about against a Spurs team they have defeated in each of their last three league encounters, including a 1-0 win away at Wembley earlier this season in which Riyad Mahrez scored the decisive early goal. Spurs have pulled off enough impressive results in Europe these last two years not to be so easily dismissed.
In that time, Mauricio Pochettino’s team have defeated Borussia Dortmund four times, including a pair of victories in progressing past them in this season’s round of 16. They have also beaten Real Madrid at home and secured away draws against Barcelona and Juventus. After falling at the group stage in 2016-17, and the last 16 last season, this year they have made it through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011 and only the second time in their history.
Pochettino deserves plaudits for achieving that in the midst of a campaign blighted by injury problems that have laid bare the lack of quality backup options in certain positions. He has consistently had to rejig and reconfigure his personnel and tactics to keep results coming in, and has largely succeeded. His side currently hold a top-four position in the league in addition to their European progress.
Spurs christened their new, eponymously named, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Heung-Min Son opened the scoring early into the second half, and then Christian Eriksen wrapped things up later on. The victory ended a five match winless streak of four defeats and a draw. It reasserted their position in a tight race for the two remaining Champions League qualifying spots behind Man City and Liverpool.
At a stage of the campaign when Spurs have started to wobble a little, City have been simply immense. They come into Tuesday’s match on the back of a 14-match winning streak in all competitions and having won 21 of their 22 matches so far this calendar year.
They already have the Carabao Cup in the bag and are still very much in contention for an unprecedented quadruple of that, the FA Cup, the Premier League and the Champions League. They secured their progress to the final of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Brighton in their semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
The numbers from their matches to date in 2019 show a team who are firing on all cylinders at both ends of the pitch. In attack, they’ve averaged over three goals per match and have handed out a series of thrashings: a 5-0, a 6-0, two 7-0s and even a 9-0. Schalke were brushed aside 10-2 on aggregate in their Champions League round-of-16 tie. That is combined with a defence that has conceded less than a goal every two matches in that time.
Our Preview’s Tottenham Hotspur vs Man City Predictions & Picks Verdict
In current form, it is very hard to pick out any clear weaknesses in Pep Guardiola’s side. Tottenham are a highly competent team with a very good coach, and if good fortune favors them, they might just pull off an unexpected result. Even at home, there are just a few too many niggling underlying issues to suggest backing them over a Man City side playing at their slickest. A good number of goals followed by a City victory looks the best play here. So this is our Spurs vs Man City prediction and pick:
- Bet on “Manchester City and over 2.5 goals” @ +150 (6/4) with Bovada. That option can be found in their “match bet and totals” market for this Champions League game.