Spurs v Manchester City: Have Tottenham Done Enough?
If only Tottenham could somehow replicate their European UCL form in the Premier League then they may have won the title by now. It’s been a while since Spurs have enjoyed the upper hand over Manchester City so, while the 1-0 win at the new White Hart Lane may offer a slender lead going into the second leg, could it be significant?
City can be free-scoring as we know but with so much on their footballing plate right now, maybe Spurs are in pole position for a UCL semi final berth.
Needless to say, our faith isn’t shared by the bookmakers who have Manchester City down as 1/3 favourites (best odds from SportingBet) to win the return next Wednesday. The draw is available at 5/1 with Black Type while a win for Tottenham is way out at a top price of 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
Those are the match odds but what about the crucial To Qualify market? This is a little tighter than it was prior to Tuesday night’s game but City remain favourites at best odds of 4/6 with William Hill while Spurs have come in to a top price of 11/8 on the BETDAQ sportsbook.
There’s not too much support there but we shouldn’t really expect it. Actually, it’s quite nice being underdogs for once and, as with Tuesday night, there would be no better feeling than to upset those odds.
Let’s Talk about Harry
An obvious talking point from the game was the injury to Harry Kane. Initial reports suggested that the striker might be out for the season and while that would obviously be a blow, should we really be that concerned?
With Fernando Llorente inconsistent at best and Vincent Janssen frozen out of the club, chief goal scoring duties fall to Son Heung-Min. We must therefore ask whether it’s a coincidence that the South Korean’s best returns came earlier in the campaign during Kane’s earlier injury absence. With the England striker absent from the pitch on Wednesday night, it was Sonny once again who came through with the vital intervention.
Since joining the club from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, Son has scored 65 goals in 180 matches. This season, while deployed more as a back up to Harry, that ratio improves in a return of 18 from 40. It all suggests that we have a more than able deputy in the ranks.
There is the theory that Manchester City are hampered as they go for the quadruple. Our early exits from the domestic cups have lessened our own fixture list while City have gone all the way in both the Carabao and the FA Cups.
At this stage of the campaign, Pep’s side only have the FA Cup final left in terms of extra games so is that really an issue? We could hope that there is a certain element of fatigue factor and added pressure but it is just a hope.
All to Play for
Overall, it’s a great position to be in and although I’d dared hoped for a draw in my match preview, it’s offered much greater expectation for the second leg. They say it’s the hope that kills you and as Spurs fans we know that feeling too well.
A replica of the first leg will do just fine – a brilliant intervention by Lloris, a goal from nowhere. We know that City have to come at us and a crucial away goal could be the clincher so, while it’s a job half done, it may just be enough.