Relegation contenders either fight or lay down in April and Tottenham Hotspur found out that Stoke City were looking for a scrap. Surely it wasn’t the best football showcased by Spurs this season, but Stoke came out to play, showed real commitment and effort, and made it difficult for the North Londoners to walk away with three points. A win they did they leave the
Britannia bet365 Stadium with though, underlining the talent and professionalism that this team exudes.
The victory was sweetened by Chelsea’s draw with West Ham. Spurs now hold a commanding ten point lead over Chelsea with six matches left to play. As noted by Menno earlier today, Tottenham’s magic number for Champions League qualification is eight points. With eighteen points up for grabs, Spurs are in great shape. United remain four points ahead of Tottenham, while Liverpool sit level with Spurs at sixty-seven points, though they’ve played one more match than the lilywhites.
This match should have been much easier. By the time City entered Wembley’s famous corridors they were supposed to have been crowned Premier League champions, already hungover from the previous week’s emotions and festivities, and fully focused on their Champions League semi-final tie. Instead, we have the Citizens on a three game losing streak — the longest of their season by far — and its really unclear what their mentality and team will look like. Add to the fact that Spurs killer Sergio Aguero has been ruled out, with John Stones, Benjamin Mendy, and Fernandinho (maybe the unsung hero of City this season) joining him on the sideline and its a difficult fixture to read.
Of course City are still chalk full of world class talent. Even though Aguero won’t be featuring, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, and David Silva will. This is a team who up until ten days ago were the best and most consistent team in Europe. They didn’t lose that pedigree overnight and remain a colossal opponent not just for Tottenham Hotspur, but for any club in the world.
Outside of the Juventus setback though, Spurs have been damn impressive in 2018 too. The ramifications of the match don’t mirror those of the Chelsea fixture two weeks ago — City will still win the league regardless of the result and a Spurs loss isn’t a death blow to their top four ambitions — but they do pit England’s two best teams in 2018 in terms of domestic competition against each other. It should be an interesting match and any points from it will be gravy for Tottenham Hotspur.
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, 7:45 p.m. (UK), 2:45 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, UK
Official: Jonathan Moss (who City are undefeated with this season...gulp)
TV: NBCSN (NBC Sports Live Extra), BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio, NOW TV, SKY GO Extra,Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Go UK, Sky Sports Main Event (UK), Sportsnet Now, Sportsnet World, Sportsnet World Now (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also often at BBC Radio London,BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport
Danny Rose is out with a calf injury, which is bad. Its bad because both Danny played well against Stoke and the pace of Raheem Sterling running at Ben Davies is terrifying. He is joined by Harry Winks, who in all likelihood is done for the year, on the sideline.
Save Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier rotating in for Victor Wanyama and Serge Aurier, I don’t think Saturday’s lineup will look too different from the starting eleven at Stoke. Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, and Davies will comprise the back four with Eric Dier and Moussa Dembélé sitting above them in the double pivot. The attacking band will consist of Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min, and Dele Alli, with Harry Kane playing up top.
Everyone but Salmon Chase predicted a victory, nobody predicted a 2-1 scoreline. While Salmon was incorrect with the entire squad contracting the flu, its unclear whether Daniel Levy did a hammy and MCL during the match. Menno still in a strong spot with six left to play.
Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standings 2017-18
|Earl of Shoop||19|
Dustin Menno: After the Stamford Bridge win, I will never doubt Spurs again.* Spurs 2-1. (*Oh God why did I do that I know how this story ends why am I a Spurs fan*)
Matthew Pachniuk: Spurs stay undefeated in the Premier League in 2018. 2-2.
GN Punk: I’ve seen this movie before but there is a glimmer of hope since city won’t have Fernandinho holding their midfield together. Could that be enough? I sure hope so. Spurs 3-2
Pardeep Cattry: Kyle Walker is going to win the league against Spurs after leaving to win trophies. Manchester City 2-1.
Skipjack: Everyone’s figured out that City’s stock is worthless but it won’t matter. 3-0 City.
Ed F: Spurs are finishing the 17/18 season strong. City are gearing up for the mother of all backlashes after a terrible week. I’m massively trailing in this prediction league. The logical upshot of all of this is that i’m predicting a 7-7 draw.
Earl of Shoop: This match is on at the extremely inconvenient-for-me time of 2:45pm eastern. There’s no way Spurs would compound that inconvenience by losing. Spurs 3-2 and holy hell is it nervy.
Jake Meador: 2-1 City because there’s no way they’re losing three in a row. (in the PL)
Salmon Chase: City is hurt, on the skids, and actually a small, SELLING CLUB. Like Liverpool and Arsenal. Also Harry Kane is positively leaking with anticipation to go out and catch that Golden Boot. 4-1 Spurs.
Alex Greenberg: City will probably bounce back, but we’re gonna sneak a draw late in the game. 1-1.
Nathan Giannini: It’s gonna be 75 degrees in New York on Saturday and this game is at 2:45 and if I try to stay inside to watch it my girlfriend might actually murder me. Speaking of murder, City take out their Champions League frustrations and win 3-0.
Joel Wertheimer: City played midweek and played hard. Half their squad is out including their only real central midfielder. Spurs have been as good as City since, well, losing to City in December. Spurs are at home. Everything points to a Spurs win, so 2-1 Spurs.
55th Vin: Because I come from a functional family, my uncle once told a 16 year-old me “never bet the end of a streak”. 5-3 Spurs.
Joe Patrick: Our fullbacks are gonna get destroyed. 3-1 City.
Bryan A: TBD