UEFA QF: Tottenham v Man. City – Preview

UEFA QF: Tottenham v Man. City: Sergio Aguero has handed Manchester City a fitness boost ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Tottenham on Tuesday

Tottenham’s first quarter-final since 2011 will make for a historic occasion at the club’s new home. The hosts’ blueprint should be Liverpool’s first-leg showing against Manchester City at this stage last season, and if any Premier League side can emulate that high-pressing effort then it is surely Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs, who inflicted Josep Guardiola’s first defeat in English football back in October 2016. If they are brave enough to play on the front foot again, expect a slender home win.

Possible line-ups

Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Alli; Eriksen, Son, Winks; Kane 
Out: Dier (groin), Lamela (hamstring)
Doubtful: Aurier (hamstring), Llorente (concussion)
Misses next game if booked: Alderweireld, Lamela, Son

Man. City: Ederson; Danilo, Stones, Kompany, Laporte; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva; Bernardo Silva, Jesus, Sterling
Out: Bravo (Achilles), Zinchenko (thigh)
Doubtful: Agüero (muscular), Delph (unknown), Mendy (knee), Walker (hamstring)
Misses next game if booked: Agüero, Otamendi

Key battle

Kieran Trippier v Raheem Sterling: Two of England’s FIFA World Cup stars of last summer will likely be in direct opposition in north London. Trippier has not always been at his best this term but will need to be on red alert if he is to tame Sterling, who having scored eight goals in his last seven appearances for club and country, is widely tipped as a potential Premier League Player of the Season

Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham coach

We [Pochettino and Guardiola] met in Spain and played a lot of games against each other and it was always tough to play against Barcelona. We are going to be aggressive and try to play and beat them. We are going to play a quarter-final, not a friendly. The big teams and players love to play these games. We need to match every situation with City. It will be 11 players against 11 players and hopefully we can win.

Pep Guardiola, Man. City coach

We know what we are going to face and it’s in our heads how we handle it. If we want to progress as a team we have to handle it. Always when we play against them, they play in that way [aggressively]. If they do it, we have to try to do it more. Kyle Walker feels better and Ben Mendy recovered well. I think they are contenders [to play].

Opta stats

  • This is the first ever European meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in what is the 157th meeting between the teams in all competitions.
  • Manchester City have won 11 of their last 16 matches against Spurs (D1 L4), with all those meetings coming in the Premier League; they’ve won their last three in a row.
  • Spurs haven’t faced an English team in a European competition since April 1973, when they faced – and were eliminated by – Liverpool in the 1972-73 UEFA Cup semi-final.
  • Manchester City have lost all four of their European matches against English opponents, losing both legs of the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final against Chelsea and both legs of last season’s Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool.
  • Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been involved in 17 goals in 17 Champions League appearances (14 goals, 3 assists); Kane has scored a goal every 106 minutes, the best ratio of any Englishman to have played at least 200 minutes in the competition.
  • Leroy Sané has had a hand in seven goals in his last three Champions League games for Manchester City (4 goals, 3 assists), scoring with all four shots on target in this time.

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