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Guardiola Gears Up to Secure Man City’s Victory with De Bruyne’s Masterstroke Against Tottenham’s Jinx

Guardiola Gears Up to Secure Man City’s Victory with De Bruyne’s Masterstroke Against Tottenham’s Jinx

A fortnight ago, when Pep Guardiola concluded his speech criticizing every aspect of Manchester City, that extraordinary press conference dominated the news cycle for the next few games.

An afterthought to this fallout has been the reminder that City won their game against Tottenham after mounting a thrilling comeback to win 4-2 after falling behind by two goals.

It wasn’t a perfect game, hence Guardiola’s outburst, but the result was a comfortable victory, and only minor improvements will be required on Sunday if City are to complete a double over Spurs.

Due to the rescheduling of this home match, City and Spurs will face each other twice in three league games, and it’s a must-win for the Blues as they attempt to catch Arsenal. 

The Gunners face Everton on Saturday at noon and have the opportunity to move eight points clear for the next 24 hours, until City plays their 21st game on Sunday.

Spurs are out of form, having lost to City and Arsenal in their last three games, although they did defeat Fulham in their most recent match. Manager Antonio Conte will be absent due to medical reasons. If City desires to win the title, they must defeat Spurs, and Guardiola will anticipate a more straightforward victory than the chaotic victory at Etihad.

However, in order for City to accomplish this, they will need to manage something they have never done before. At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, score a goal.

Three times in three visits to the stadium, City has been defeated without scoring. According to OLBG, this is the only Premier League team with a points-per-game ratio of zero at another Premier League venue.

With Harry Kane one goal away from becoming Spurs’ all-time leading scorer, Son Heung-min’s  return to form in the FA Cup, and the additions of Pedro Porro and Arnaut Danjuma in January, Pep Guardiola will take the hosts extremely seriously. He will not want to give them an advantage like they did at Etihad.

Ruben Dias or Aymeric Laporte could return to the back line to provide a bit more stability, while Kyle Walker could replace Rico Lewis.

Phil Foden could return to add more pace to the attack if Guardiola so chooses, or Julian Alvarez could be moved to the wing after playing behind Erling Haaland at home. Bernardo Silva is another option for adding energy to the lineup.

The recall of Kevin De Bruyne, who was notably left on the bench for the 4-2 victory, is, however, an obvious selection decision. De Bruyne’s omission felt significant in light of Guardiola’s post-match comments; however, he started the next two games and may be one of the players who took the manager’s criticisms to heart.

If Guardiola wishes to indicate that an improvement is necessary following the 4-2 victory, he could easily do so by recalling De Bruyne, Walker, or Dias from his captaincy group.

Others can contribute from the bench, but having as many leaders as possible on the field will help convey Guardiola’s post-Spurs messages and break their unfavorable record at Spurs.

Guardiola Gears Up to Secure Man City’s Victory with De Bruyne’s Masterstroke Against Tottenham’s Jinx

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