Manchester City look to overturn their narrow deficit in this Champions League tie when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and here is a look at the three keys to this fixture. Bet on the game here.
City’s goalscoring form at home v Spur’s poor record on the road.
The Etihad stadium has played host some of the most impressive wins for Manchester City this season, both domestically and on the continental stage. Spurs will have to be at their very best to hold on to their first-leg advantage, and even that might not be enough against Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut. The hosts have now won 14 of their last 16 competitive games in normal time with the only exceptions being last week’s defeat and the Carabao Cup Final penalty win against Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino, on the other hand, is very aware of his side’s struggles away from home. As a matter of fact, their form on the road has been anything but promising in the lead up to this match. They have lost on six of their last seven competitive travels, with their only solace being the 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.
Raheem Sterling v Heung-Min Son
Raheem Sterling has been the difference maker in this Manchester City team and he will be expected to lead his side to overturn the first leg deficit. He was on target during the weekend with a brace and therefore his confidence is on an all time high heading into this fixture. Sterling has already bagged 17 league goals with five games remaining this season, making this his best season in terms of end product. Simply put, if he turns up then Manchester City are almost unplayable and he will be out to do just that.
Heung-Min Son has been everything to Spurs that Sterling has been to Manchester City this season. In a season where Harry Kane has been below his usual best, it is the South Korean who has stepped up to lead this team in critical moments. He has registered 12 goals and six assists to his name so far this season in the league. He has also been instrumental since they moved to their new stadium, scoring in two of his last three home appearances. Harry Kane is out injured and he will be given the responsibility of leading the attacking line here ahead of Fernando Llorente.
City’s experience v Spur’s lack of it
Manchester City is a very well balanced team with experienced players in all the departments with a proven record of performing under pressure. They are also navigating a very tight fixture schedule this month and so far they have done fairly well. Guardiola has twice won the Champions League and will need to call upon his experience here to ensure City keep their heads calm to come out with a positive result.
Tottenham for their part are still a young team that is full of promise. They have been together for some time now and they are showing maturity to compete on an equal footing in the European stage. However, they do not compare to their opponents who have proven winners in their ranks as they head to this fixture. They will be playing away from home which should further complicate their chances but on a good day they are as capable as anyone else of pulling an upset.