Tottenham - Manchester City Preview: Mancini's men could surrender title with loss to Champions League-chasing Spurs
If Manchester United beat Aston Villa on Monday then a defeat at White Hart Lane will have seen the current champions' reign end, but the hosts face a tough task with Bale a doubt
By John Stammers
Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Milner, Tevez, Silva
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed on Friday that Gareth Bale (ankle) is fit to face Manchester City on Sunday, with Aaron Lennon (knee) "progressing well" and Jermain Defoe (muscle problem) hopeful of inclusion.
Clint Dempsey, Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson are ready to come in for Spurs should they be needed, while former Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to start.
In defence, Villas-Boas will be without Younes Kaboul (thigh) after he was forced off midway through an Under-21 outing while nearing a first-team return, while William Gallas (calf) is struggling, leaving Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen as the probable centre-back partnership.
City, unlike their opponents who will be fresh after a 10-day break, played against Wigan on Wednesday and Chelsea the Sunday before and may make a number of changes for the tie.
Sergio Aguero (hamstring) is almost certainly out of the game, while Maicon (virus) is also struggling, but David Silva (hamstring) should return to the squad for the trip to White Hart Lane.
Elsewhere, Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Matija Nastasic are expected to return after being rested for the win over the Latics, with Micah Richards, Aleksandar Kolarov and Joleon Lescott set to make way.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Tottenham have failed to win a game this calendar year in which Bale has not scored in.
- The north Londoners have lost their last four clashes with Sunday's opponents - but were defeated in just three of the previous 27.
- Villas-Boas' men have netted at least two goals in six of their last seven matches, while there has been a total of 14 goals in the past four meetings between the sides.
- Adebayor (pictured right) made the permanent move to White Hart Lane from Manchester City in the summer, after previously playing for north London neighbours Arsenal.
- City will surrender their Premier League title if they lose to Spurs and Manchester United beat Aston Villa on Monday.
- However, Roberto Mancini's side are undefeated in 34 out of their last 38 games, while they won 5-1 on their last visit to White Hart Lane.
- Mancini has used all three substitutions more than any manager, doing so in all but one league game this season - the 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge - and his team hold the second-highest percentage of goals from replacements (after Reading).
- Edin Dzeko netted a late winner in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, with the reigning champions coming back from a goal down to win.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City
- 19.09 %
Tottenham 1-2 Manchester City
- 16.89 %
Tottenham 1-3 Manchester City
- 10.57 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 30, 2014||Tottenham 1 - Manchester City 5|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 24, 2013||Manchester City 6 - Tottenham 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 21, 2013||Tottenham 3 - Manchester City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 11, 2012||Manchester City 2 - Tottenham 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 22, 2012||Manchester City 3 - Tottenham 2|
|Mar 9, 2014||Chelsea FC 4 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|Mar 3, 2014||Tottenham 1 - Cardiff City 0||EPL|
|Feb 28, 2014||Tottenham 3 - Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1||EL|
|Feb 24, 2014||Norwich City 1 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|Feb 21, 2014||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1 - Tottenham 0||EL|
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