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Premier League

  • 10 May 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Dean
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Manchester City - Tottenham Preview: Hosts aiming for first league win over Spurs since 2008 to confirm Champions League qualification

Manchester City - Tottenham Preview: Hosts aiming for first league win over Spurs since 2008 to confirm Champions League qualification

The race to join Manchester United, Chelsea & Arsenal in the top four comes to a head at Eastlands with the hosts kicking off six points ahead of Harry Redknapp's men




PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Vieira, Barry; Johnson, Y Toure, Silva; Dzeko.


Manager Roberto Mancini has few injury problems but is likely to have one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup final when it comes to selecting his team, so he could make changes from the side that lost to Everton at the weekend.

Captain Carlos Tevez has reportedly been informed he must prove his fitness if he is to feature at Wembley and the Italian has admitted the Argentine has a 50 per cent chance, meaning he may play some part on Tuesday.

Tottenham (4-4-2): Gomes; Kaboul, Dawson, Gallas, Corluka; Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Van der Vaart; Pavlyuchenko, Defoe.


Gareth Bale is expected to miss Spurs’ last three games after being stretchered off in the 1-1 draw with Blackpool at White Hart Lane.

Jermain Defoe may keep his place after hitting a late equaliser against the Tangerines on Saturday but Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tom Huddlestone are both expected to miss out again due to injury.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • A win for Manchester City will not only confirm a top four finish, it will also see them move just two points behind Arsenal with two games left to play.
  • Roberto Mancini’s men will be confident of victory having lost just twice at home in the league all season. The two defeats came last year to Everton in December and Arsenal back in October.
  • Joe Hart (pictured right) is the only player to feature in every Premier League game for Manchester City this season.
  • Striker Carlos Tevez has not played since April 11 but has already scored more league goals (19) than Tottenham strikers Jermain Defoe (4), Peter Crouch (4) and Roman Pavlyuchenko (8) combined (16).
  • The two sides' previous fixture was on the opening day of the season, when they shared a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane. That game saw Yaya Toure, David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov make their City debuts and the point halted a run of six straight defeats at White Hart Lane.
  • However, Tottenham have a good away record this season, with six wins. Only Arsenal, Chelsea & Manchester City have won more games on their travels this term.
  • Yet Harry Redknapp's men have become draw specialists in recent weeks. Of their last eight league matches, they have drawn six.
  • Indeed Spurs have not tasted victory on their travels in the league for almost three months. Their last away win came on February 12 when they beat Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
  • Of course Tottenham have good memories of Eastlands. On their last visit, almost exactly a year ago, a single goal by Peter Crouch was enough for victory and to confirm the Londoners' place in the Champions League, at the expense of Mancini’s men.
  • The visitors have not lost to Manchester City in their last five fixtures. Their last defeat at Eastlands in the league came on March 16, 2008 when goals by Stephen Ireland and Nedum Onuoha secured victory after Robbie Keane had opened the scoring.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
2Micah RichardsDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
7James MilnerMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
10Edin DzekoStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
38D. BoyataDefender
11Shaun Wright-PhillipsMidfielder
-Patrick VieiraMidfielder
10Carlos TévezStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
23Carlo CudiciniGoalkeeper
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
5Michael DawsonDefender
13William GallasDefender
3Danny RoseMidfielder
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
30SandroMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
25Peter CrouchStriker
-Stipe PletikosaGoalkeeper
4Younes KaboulDefender
5S. BassongDefender
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
22Steven PienaarMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
18Jermain DefoeStriker
Players to Watch
David Silva
David Silva
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
2 1 1 0
David Silva was once again the inspiration for Manchester City at the weekend, teeing up Yaya Toure for the opener against Everton as Mancini's team dominated the first hour at Goodison Park.

The City boss may be tempted to give his brilliant Spaniard the night off, with Wembley looming at the weekend, but if he does feature he may well be the man to unlock the Spurs defence.
Gomes
Gomes
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Heurelho Gomes stole the headlines once again on Saturday against Blackpool, going from hero to villain in seconds after saving one penalty before conceding another moments later.

Spurs cannot afford any more mistakes if they are to do the unthinkable and pip City to fourth spot, and a place in the Champions League, and that starts at the back with their Brazilian goalkeeper.
Prediction
An intriguing match awaits at Eastlands with Manchester City now heavy favourites to secure Champions League qualification ahead of Spurs, who also have the added distraction of Liverpool breathing down their necks, meaning they could even miss out on the Europa League unless they finish the season on a high.

However, City’s recent record against Spurs is poor and they may be distracted by the prospect of the FA Cup final on Saturday. Yet the visitors have suffered from far too many draws in recent weeks and another stalemate does not look out of the question.
Editor's Prediction

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