Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League title credentials will be severely put to the test when they make the trip up to Eastlands to face leaders Manchester City on January 22.
An unfit and unprepared Spurs side were thrashed 1-5 by Roberto Mancini’s side in the reverse fixture at the start of the season – a result which is arguably the only separating factor between the two teams who have been equally impressive and efficient for the majority of the campaign.
It really is make or break for Harry Redknapp and his side as a Spurs win would haul them level with City and Manchester United and for the first time create a genuine three way scrap for Premier League glory.
Defeat on the other hand would realistically put an end to the Londoners title aspirations and subsequently force them to concentrate on holding on to a Champions League berth.
This should be a really close encounter and an entertaining one to boot with an abundance of attacking talent on show.
Spurs arguably boast the best midfield in the league with the likes of Modric and Van Der Vaart in their arsenal, whilst they are deadly on the flanks and lightning fast thanks to Bale and Lennon.
City are hardly light on that score themselves however and have the ability to field a number of quality midfielders and forwards capable of changing and influencing play.
David Silva has probably stood out amongst all attacking midfielders in the Premier League and he will be crucial for City as they aim to repeat the treatment they dealt out to Spurs at White Hart Lane.
It will also be interesting to see how both City and Spurs’ world class defenders cope over the course of ninety minutes as the tempo will be frenetic.
Over 2.5 goals looks nailed on at inflated odds of around 5/6 with Aguero and Defoe both fancied to get in amongst the goals.
It was unquestionably two points dropped for Tottenham in their most recent Premier League outing at home to Wolves, but with a point to prove they can get back to winning ways in emphatic fashion by overcoming a City side who in truth have looked vulnerable during Cup defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool.
City perhaps win the battle in terms of skill and creativity but Spurs’ pace could easily be the deciding factor especially if Mancini’s men are indeed beginning to feel stretched.
Spurs are as short as 5/2 to snatch a vital victory, odds which probably reflect their true chances. But with 16/5 also generally available, there is some real value to be had and some bookmakers may have again underestimated Harry’s high flyers.
Manchester United will be praying for a draw and although that is also a feasible outcome, it is not a sensible bet for the serious punter who would have an uncomfortable hour and a half’s viewing in store if the match is indeed end to end and full of goals.
© Frixo 2013