Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham v Manchester City - Talking Points

First goes up against second on Sunday as Manchester City and Tottenham look to make an early statement of intent in the Premier League title race.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five talking points ahead of the match.

1. Clash of the top two

City have taken maximum points from their opening six games this term but this is arguably their toughest test so far. Tottenham are unbeaten and have won three matches in a row since drawing at home to Liverpool last month. Mauricio Pochettino's side, however, are yet to face any of last season's top six and a City side in hot form will offer an early gauge of their title credentials.

2. Aguero can make up for injured De Bruyne

Spurs have been a happy hunting ground for Sergio Aguero in recent years. The Argentinian has hit 10 goals in nine league appearances against Pochettino's men, including four in a 4-1 win for City two years ago. Kevin de Bruyne's absence may mean chances are in less frequent supply but Aguero is in scintillating form and remains the most potent threat at White Hart Lane.

3. Janssen feeling heat from Son

Despite his impressive work-rate and link-up play, Vincent Janssen has only scored once in nine appearances and that was from the penalty spot against Gillingham. It gives Pochettino a decision to make up front, particularly with Son Heung-min in such good form, the South Korean scoring five in five so far. Son could start in the attacking midfield three but that would mean one of Dele Alli, Erik Lamela or Christian Eriksen dropping out.

4. Possession versus pressing

Celtic showed on Wednesday that Pep Guardiola's side can be rattled by a team prepared to hassle them high up the pitch. Intent on playing out from the back, City's defenders will be tested by a Spurs side determined to pressure even their opponents' goalkeeper, let alone the back four. It's a strategy not without risk, however, as when City break through, their deadly front line will have more space to do damage.

5. Pochettino with a point to prove

Pochettino is eager to establish himself as one of Europe's top young coaches and inflicting a first defeat on Guardiola in England would only add to his burgeoning reputation. The Spurs boss has form for upsetting the Spaniard after leading Espanyol to a 2-1 win over Barcelona in 2009, ending the Catalans' six-month unbeaten run, although Guardiola has won five of their nine match-ups overall.


From Belfast Telegraph