Tottenham Hotspur bring the opening weekend of 2021-22 Premier League season to a conclusion as they host Manchester City in a blockbuster Super Sunday clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham will be looking to build upon a disappointing seventh placed finish last season as Nuno Espirito Santo takes charge, whilst Man City will want to kick off their title defence with a win.
Summer signing, Cristian Romero is a doubt for Tottenham after struggling with a knee injury and won’t be risked unless deemed match fit.
Harry Kane (fitness) and Japhet Tanganga (adductor) are doubts and will be handed late fitness tests but Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) and Tanguy Ndombele (fitness) are ruled out.
Man City will be without Kevin De Bruyne as he continues to recover from an ankle injury suffered against eventual champions – Italy when representing Belgium at Euro 2020.
Phil Foden will also miss out as he continues to recover from a foot injury which prevented him from participating for England in Euro 2020 Final last month.
Ederson, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling could also miss out if deemed not fully fit, following their late returns to pre-season training.
- Tottenham are unbeaten in three of their last five league meetings against Manchester City (W2, D1, L2).
- Man City are yet to win in three visits to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium across all competitions since its opening in April 2019 (L3), conceding five goals without scoring once themselves.
- Both teams have had four players red carded each in 48 Premier League meetings.
- Tottenham have lost just one of their last five opening weekend fixtures (W3, D1, L1).
- City are unbeaten in their last 12 opening fixtures to a new season (W11, D1), last tasting defeat on the first weekend of 2008-09 season in a 4-2 loss at Aston Villa.
Having done a solid job at Wolves in recent seasons, Espirito Santo definitely has an interesting task on his hands to unlock Spurs’ best attacking ability which was largely absent except for Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min last season and they won’t have Gareth Bale to help them this season.
Tottenham though should be more comfortable defensively because Espirito Santo’s previous teams have often been difficult to break down at the back, whilst playing a pressing game in a 3-4-3 formation but questions continue to linger over Kane’s future at the club which could be a distraction.
Pep Guardiola meanwhile will be relieved to have most first-team regulars back because I can see several changes from the Community Shield loss, following a difficult defensive display in which only Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias Riyad Mahrez and Samuel Edozie were impressive.
De Bruyne and Foden though will be huge losses but returning international players could well be needed even if not fully fit, because City did look lacklustre in attack last weekend and Tottenham will be just as difficult as Leicester to beat.
On that note, I expect an interesting match which could ultimately be decided by the team selection which I think Tottenham will edge if Espirito Santo opts to start Kane and Son Heung-min, given City’s poor record at Spurs’ modern home.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Manchester City
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Manchester City