Saturday 20 April 2013
Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to end defeats in their last four Barclays Premier League encounters with Manchester City on Sunday as both sides look to earn an important victory in their respective pursuits of UEFA Champions League qualification and the league title.
Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham side are in fifth place – five points adrift of north London rivals Arsenal in third, having played two matches fewer than the Gunners – and the visitors are 13 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester United with a game in hand. Recent history is favourable for Man City, who won the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in November.
Roberto Mancini’s side are also top of the Premier League form table, with 15 points from the last 18 available and three consecutive victories to their name. Second-placed City face a tough task to overhaul runaway leaders Manchester United, but a victory will put them in a commanding position in the race for qualification positions for the UEFA Champions League and keep the title race alive with four matchweeks remaining in the 2012/13 campaign.
Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko is the form man in recent clashes between the two sides. The Man City forward scored four times in an emphatic 5-1 victory for Mancini’s charges in the last league fixture at White Hart Lane, and he also scored in their most recent encounter, a 2-1 victory against Spurs at the Etihad Stadium.
Mancini, however, may opt to give Carlos Tevez the opportunity to lead the line for his team. The Argentinian forward has scored 84 goals in 196 appearances in the Premier League, which is exactly the same record as former Man Utd attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tottenham can at least look back fondly at their Premier League record against the Citizens prior to the four-match losing streak. Spurs lost just three of their previous 27 encounters.
Their last positive league result against City at White Hart Lane was a 0-0 draw on the opening day of the 2010/11 season. The visitors had Joe Hart to thank for the point as he produced a string of magnificent saves and asserted himself as the club’s first choice goalkeeper. Hart has kept 15 Premier League clean sheets this season, three more than any other keeper.
Tottenham’s last victory over Sunday’s opponents was a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium in May 2010, which helped Spurs qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
Villas-Boas’ side have earned four points from their last two matches, including a 2-2 draw against sixth-placed Everton, but they suffered narrow defeats to Liverpool and Fulham prior to those results.
For photographs of recent encounters between Tottenham and Manchester City flick through the gallery above.
To follow live commentary and photos on the Premier League’s live matchday service, click here.