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Friday Hoddle of Coffee: Spurs Head to the Etihad, January 20, 2017

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‘memba this?

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Before last February’s trip the Etihad, Spurs had lost five straight at the Eastlands stadium—every match they had played there since Crouchy’s memorable late winner to cap the 2009-10 season and send us into the Champions League. And it’s not just that we had lost five straight—we’d lost badly. The overall goal differential was 16-4 in favor of the Citizens.

Then last February happened. We were confident, controlled much of the game, and came away with a 2-1 win after a late Christian Eriksen goal assisted by Erik Lamela won the match for us.

As we head into this fixture, we do so with a lot of momentum and also one huge question mark: With Jan Vertonghen out due to injury, how will Mauricio Pochettino set up his team? My preference would be that we keep the 3-4-3 with Ben Davies slotting in for Vertonghen and keeping the rest of the XI the same:

Lloris
Dier, Alderweireld, Davies
Walker, Wanyama, Dembele, Rose
Eriksen, Dele
Kane

That said, one intriguing possibility is that we might switch back to something very like last year’s best XI and play a 4-2-3-1. With Dier, Dembele, and Alderweireld all fit, the team could use that system:

Lloris
Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose
Dier, Dembele
Son, Dele, Eriksen
Kane

If it were me, I’d do the 3-4-3 and risk it with Davies. But we’ll find out Saturday at lunch time what Poche has in mind. I’m equal parts giddy and petrified. How are y’all doing?