Man City perspective: Ric Turner, Blue Moon.
Our injury crisis is gradually easing, with David Silva, Joleon Lescott and Maicon returning to the squad. James Milner, Jack Rodwell, and Micah Richards remain sidelined, however. Mancini will be tempted to start with Silva, despite his lay off, as the team have lacked creativity in his absence. I expect Matija Nastasic to retain his place at centre half after assured recent performances.
Successive draws against West Ham and Ajax have seen the pressure mount on Roberto Mancini, from the press at least. However, City remain undefeated in the league this season (the only side not to have lost as yet) so there are still grounds for optimism. We still haven’t managed to replicate the form of last season, but the return of Silva should give us a lift. He is integral to the way City play.
Our record against Tottenham is dire: they are something of a bogey team for us. In the 30 games we’ve played during the Premiership era, we’ve lost 19 times and only won six, which is a shocking record. However, we have won the last three meetings so hopefully the tide has turned.
The draw at 4.00. A third successive draw for City is a strong possibility, and looks a decent bet at these odds.
Both sides to score at 1.60. Both sides have goals in them, so this looks a banker.
Sergio Aguero to score first at 5.25. The striker looked sharp against Ajax, and will want to transfer that form to domestic matters.
Score prediction: Man City 2-2 Tottenham (14.00)
Tottenham perspective: Matt Harris, Tottenham Blog.
Spurs are hoping that defensive midfielder Sandro can recover from a calf injury to take his place in the side but the main question is over formation. After switching to an attacking 4-4-2 with good effect against Maribor, Andre Villas-Boas may prefer the more defensive 4-2-3-1 in this match. Questions remain over the goalkeeper position, but expect Brad Friedel to regain his league place. Emmanuel Adebayor will challenge Jermain Defoe for a lone striker role.
After a run of four Premiership wins in a row, Spurs have lost two of their last three and were comfortably second best at home to Wigan last Saturday. Inconsistency reigns, but the hope is that Tottenham can improve against strong opposition as they did the last time they travelled to Manchester and earnt a 3-2 win over United.
Spurs haven’t won at the Etihad since the 1-0 victory at the end of the 2009-10 campaign, a result that secured a Champions League place. Last season, a late City goal sealed a 3-2 home win while 2010-11’s fixture was won by City by a goal to nil. The recent record doesn't give us a lot of encouragement but a fitter and tighter defence may have held on to the draw last season.
Both teams to score at 1.60. We seem certain to concede but equally Spurs have failed to score in only one league game this season.
Gareth Bale to score anytime at 4.70. Bale is in supreme form and that’s a great price.
Over 3.5 goals at 2.45. The pattern of the game could be similar to last season, meaning there should be plenty of goals.
Score prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Spurs (14.00)