Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City
Two games into the season and Spurs will have in my opinion played the teams that will finish first and second in this season`s Prem, so if we get another negative result, perhaps we should look for some perspective and not get carried away.
Saying that, Spurs have a great record against City, winning eleven out of the last fourteen games between the sides, but we all know that with the unlimited funds at Eastlands, this is a City side to compare with the best in Europe, let alone the Premiership. Not quite a match for Barcelona yet, as Harry states, but give them time and who knows.
Tottenham`s new boy, Emmanuel Adebayor, will again have to watch this game from the stands, as he is unable to face his contracted club, so I assume there will be a final chance for Jermain Defoe to stake a claim to play over Roman Pavlyuchenko, who was terrible on Thursday in my opinion and simply didn`t look interested, whilst it would appear that Peter Crouch will be leaving the club in the next few days and as he is injured, he won`t get an opportunity to say good bye to the Spurs fans
Also definitely out tomorrow are Ledley King, William Gallas, Sandro, Wilson Palacios, Steven Pienaar and Danny Rose, but Jermaine Jenas and Kyle Walker are both expected to return after recovering from their virus. Whether Walker will get the nod over Vedran Corluka will be one of the interesting calls for Harry, and in reality it is a case of choosing whether you want to play an attacking player, who isn`t quite there defensively or a defensive player, who isn`t quite there offensively. A tough call for Harry, especially against the likes of either David Silva or Sami Nasri on the City left.
Elsewhere in defence, I can`t see too many surprises, with Friedel deserving another start over Gomes, and Dawson, Kaboul and BAE getting the other places. In midfield, the big call will be whether Luka Modric starts the game, which may well signify his immediate future. If he plays, you assume unless a massive offer arrives in Daniel Levy`s inbox, he will stay, but if he doesn`t start, you get the impression he is already heading towards the exit door.
If all is well between now and kick off, I would hope and expect a Spurs line up of, Friedel, Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, BAE, Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale, VdV and Defoe, but I can see there being the major debate over who starts at right back, with my preference for Walker being that we have to give him the games and time to establish himself and with City usually playing a more narrow, 4-2-3-1, Walker`s greater offensive ability might cause problems, whilst am I alone in thinking he has actually not been too bad with his defensive duties?
For me a decent Spurs performance and a draw, wouldn`t be a bad result, whilst a defeat wouldn`t be the end of the world, as long as we start to pick up points against Wolves and Liverpool in the coming weeks. City will be a massive test for our defensive ability, but have looked slightly vulnerable in that area themselves, and will again miss their excellent defensive midfielder Nigel De Jong tomorrow, which for me is a plus for Spurs.
If Spurs can win this, it will be a massive boost for the team and give real credence to our belief that we can make the top four this season, but I have a feeling that the points will be shared tomorrow and will go with a 1-1 draw...