Harry Redknapp has had plenty to say ahead of Tottenham’s trip to the Etihad Stadium; a game which the Spurs boss believes is not the ‘must win’ that everyone would have you believe. Redknapp feels that 8pts is a small margin to retrieve at this stage of the season where everyone will take points each other.
The Tottenham manager of course is the master of deflecting the pressure of his football teams and he has bundled a shed load onto City by suggesting that if Spurs were in a position to pay players £250k a week then he would fully expect them to be top of the table and winning the title. While many will see Redknapp as having a point; the actual reality is that splashing the cash brings no guarantees. Tomorrow’s game promises to be a classic, although it is certainly a tough one to call.
In this week at FFC we have seen a mixed bag of blogs that includes Tottenham could find inspiration from Germany; now or never for Redknapp, while conflicting reports over the club’s pursuit of Loic Remy. We also have new features including quote of the week and a full match preview ahead of the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
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Klaas Jan Huntelaar: Surely A Better Bet Than Loic Remy, Anyway? – Transfer Tavern
“That is new to us and maybe people would expect us to fall away in the second half of the season but, as players, we believe in our ability and we believe we can keep getting results. We have lost just one in the last 19 and that is great form. If we keep it up then we are in with a chance,” Ledley King (Mirror)
Tottenham will be eager to dish out some payback on league leaders Manchester City when they travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Roberto Mancini’s men thrashed Spurs 5-1 in September and should be fearful of a backlash from the North Londoners. Despite a slight wobble in recent weeks City remain comfortable at the top three clear or rivals United and six ahead of Harry Redknapp’s side. Having spent much of the season playing breathtakingly exciting football their win at Wigan on Monday night owed much to their ability to dig in and grid out results. The loss of Vincent Kompany to suspension has hit them hardest in recent week with youngster Stefan Savic struggling to adapt to the pace and physicality’s of the English game. However the grit and determination displayed at the DW Stadium will go a long way for City as they aim to bag their first ever Premier League title. Their record at the Etihad Stadium is perfect after 10 wins in a row whilst they scored 31 goals and conceded only four. They’ll need another valiant display on Sunday if they are to maintain that unbeaten home record and put some distance between themselves and their third placed visitors.
It’s been an unbelievable campaign for Spurs as they continue to stay involved in the title race. Redknapp will be desperate for his side to enact some revenge on City after the White Hart Lane mauling they suffered although since that game they’ve won from 14 out of the 19 subsequent fixtures losing just once. Since then Tottenham have been irresistible and deservedly sit in the top three just two victories away from top spot. Despite being held at home to Wolves last week they will be confident of toppling the league leaders on their own patch especially with Scott Parker and Luka Modric resuming their midfield partnership. The signing of Parker in the summer was seen as the final piece of Redknapp’s jigsaw as it would allow Modric to concentrate on creating goals instead of worrying about fulfilling his defensive duties. The Croatian has been a driving force in attack linking up to great effect with Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor whilst Parker sits back and cuts out any threat from the opposition. The duo will be key to keeping City’s midfield three quiet on Sunday as well as getting wingers Bale and Aaron Lennon into the game and providing killer balls for Jermaine Defoe who will start in place of Adebayor who can’t play against his parent club.
Manchester City 1st : 51 points
Last six: W W L D W W
Team news: Vincent Kompany is still serving a ban and misses out alongside Micah Richards who has a hamstring injury. Mario Balotelli could feature despite picking up an ankle knock.
Key Player: David Silva
After spending much of Christmas on the sidelines the silky Spaniard roared back into life on Monday against Wigan. City will be grateful that Silva has finally recovered from injury and he’ll be sure to make up for lost time against Tottenham on Sunday.
Tottenham Hotspur 3rd : 46 points
Last six: D W W D W D
Team news: Spurs have seven first team players out injured for their trip to the Etihad Stadium whilst Emmanuel Adebayor will be missing as he isn’t permitted to play against his parent club.
Key Player: Luka Modric
Breaking down a City defence that has conceded just four times at home will be extremely difficult but a challenge Modric will savour. The Croatian has been superb for Tottenham this season as they aim to close the gap on the league leaders.
City’s record at the Etihad Stadium is phenomenal but they’ve been shaky of late and Vincent Kompany’s absence continues to haunt them. Spurs will see an opportunity to write the wrongs of the 5-1 they took in September and inflict a first home defeat of the season on Roberto Mancini’s men.
Click on Roger Johnson’s misses below to unveil our current Premier League Wag XI
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