Football

Most pundits can’t see Spurs stopping the Man City juggernaut

Most pundits can't see Tottenham stopping the Manchester juggernaut

With Manchester City in such rip-roaring form, Tottenham Hotspur will do well to escape defeat at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow morning (Singapore time), according to football pundits in the UK.

Pep Guardiola's men enter the weekend's high-profile clash on the back of a record 15 successive English Premier League wins, a run which has seen them build an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

They are also the English top flight's top scorers with 52 goals, averaging more than three goals a game.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes that Spurs' depleted backline, with Toby Alderweireld injured and Davinson Sanchez suspended, means they don't stand a chance against the Citizens.

Merson, who predicted a 3-1 win for City, told SkySports: "Alderweireld is probably the best defender in the world and he is badly missed. Also Sanchez is out along with Victor Wanyama, so they are missing big players. Otherwise, it would have been game on."

Tim Sherwood's allegiance may be with Spurs, being a Tottenham player between 1999 and 2003 and their manager for five months during the 2013/14 season, but he feels the league leaders will be too much for his former club to handle.

Although he acknowledged the strength of Mauricio Pochettino's squad, he also thinks Guardiola's side have a clear edge.

He said on the Evening Standard: "(Sergio) Aguero and Harry Kane and the assists and goals of (Kevin) de Bruyne and (Christian) Eriksen, they are four top players who are doing brilliantly for their side.

"You would have to say the most productive at the end of the season will probably be by the City boys because they are a runaway train at the moment.

"No one can stop them, they are just unbelievably good.

"On the basis of their team, they are better."

SPURS LACK BELIEF

Another Spurs old boy, Jermaine Jenas, reckons Kane and Co. could be in for a thumping if they are not careful.

He added that their inconsistency is a big worry ahead of a match in which they cannot afford to make mistakes.

He said on BBC: "For me, Spurs achieving anything in this game will come down to their mentality. Do they actually believe they are a side challenging to win things?

"They need to show it now, because all I have seen from them at Anfield or Old Trafford over the past couple of years, and at Emirates Stadium this season, is a lack of belief.

"If they go into this game like that, then they are going to get absolutely destroyed.

"Their season has constantly been on a knife edge anyway and, if they are badly beaten by City, then it could seriously knock their confidence."

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown can't see beyond a City win either, although he doesn't think the proceedings will be as lop-sided as some are anticipating.

On whether Spurs can pull off an unlikely victory, he said: "I don't see it - but it will be close.

"Manchester United's 3-1 win at Arsenal is the best game of the season and this could match it as a spectacle."

Not all are anticipating 90 minutes of misery for Pochettino's side though, despite City having dropped just two points all season.

Ex-Spurs manager Harry Redknapp believes Tottenham, fourth in the standings, will give City a run for their money.

According to him, City could be in big trouble if the Lilywhites get into their groove.

He said on Talksport: "Spurs are going to be a big test for Man City. Tottenham will be their biggest test.

"If Tottenham are firing on all cylinders, they can certainly give Man City a real game at the weekend." - WIRE SERVICES

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