Following the international break and the extension of Pep Guardiola’s contract, Manchester City face Tottenham.
In the first match after extending his Manchester City contract by a further two years, it could not be a more fitting managerial matchup for Pep Guardiola: his eternal rival José Mourinho. Mourinho’s Tottenham have been high flying so far this season, and with the return of Gareth Bale to North London, have been dreaming of Premier League glory to end their 12-year spell without a trophy.
City have title aspirations of their own, and with their manager secured in the long term, the focus will return to getting a massive result against a fellow contender. City will be favorites, but Tottenham have managed to get results against them in recent years, even in matches where they are outplayed.
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Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling have returned to training ahead of the match, but Nathan Aké and Fernandinho will not be ready in time. Winning this match will be a difficult task fresh off the international break and at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but these are the kinds of early-season markers that set the tone for an ever-evolving title race.
With Liverpool continuing to suffer from injuries, the pressure is on City to assume the role of favorites, while teams like Spurs will dream that this could be their year, and three points here would be a huge milestone in any potential challenge. For the second straight match, the stakes could not be more clear and important for City, who will need to be at their very best once again, and this time take advantage of their opportunities, unlike what they were able to muster against Liverpool before the break.
Predicted XI: Ederson (GK), Kyle Walker (RB), Rúben Dias (CB), Aymeric Laporte (CB), João Cancelo (LB), Rodri (CDM), İlkay Gündoğan (CDM), Kevin De Bruyne (CAM), Ferran Torres (RW), Gabriel Jesus (ST), Raheem Sterling (LW)