Tottenham Hotspur’s Chance to Show Title Credentials Against Manchester City

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Tottenham Hotspur's chance
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Ahmed El Mohamady of Aston Villa and Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Tottenham Hotspur’s chance to demonstrate their title credentials this season comes early, in the shape of the Saturday evening kick-off at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur both began the campaign with victories. City tore through West Ham United and only VAR stopped them scoring more than five goals. Tottenham were less convincing but bounced back from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 3-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Chance to Show Title Ambitions

Spurs Need to Show They Mean Business

Despite Tottenham’s progress under Mauricio Pochettino, they haven’t shown they can stay the course for a prolonged title chase. Purse strings have been loosened with Tanguy Ndombele, Jack Clarke (bought from Leeds United and loaned back), Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso all strengthening Spurs’ ranks.

A top-four finish is the minimum requirement for Tottenham, although, speaking to football.london, former player Dimitar Berbatov feels they will again lack consistency to challenge for the top prize: “Inconsistency could stop Spurs mounting a serious title challenge this season.

“They got away with going a goal behind to Aston Villa last Saturday but you cannot do that every week, no matter how good Harry Kane is.”

Manchester City Already Look a Class Above

Victory against a limp West Ham United at the London Stadium did not hide the fact that Manchester City look a cut above. Raheem Sterling’s hat trick and City’s fluency of play serves as a stark warning to the rest of the Premier League. They won’t be giving up their crown easily. At every attack it looked like City would score. This was all without Sergio Aguero or Bernardo Silva in the starting 11. Jose Mourinho’s assertion that Manchester City’s B team are one of four teams capable of winning the league may prove more than a sly dig at his former employers at Old Trafford.

Key Battles

Much will depend on the starting line ups with both sides capable of rotating their personnel. Should Sergio Aguero take the place of Gabriel Jesus, the performance of Davinson Sanchez will be key to Tottenham’s chances. The Colombian centre back is highly rated by Mauricio Pochettino yet he is knocked off the ball too easily. John McGinn had little trouble brushing him aside last weekend. Sanchez will need to address this part of his play or Aguero will give him a torrid afternoon. Should Pochettino restore faith with Belgian Jan Vertonghen, Aguero will have sterner competition to contend with.

The midfield pairing of Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele can cover a lot of ground and their ability to close down and press will be important to Tottenham stopping Manchester City’s fast-paced attack.

Tottenham’s Chance To Shine

Although only the second game of the season, Tottenham’s chance to show their intent has arrived. Top four is expected. Now the time has come for that expectancy to become focused on winning the Premier League.

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