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Premier League 2019/20: Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton and Hove Albion - tactical analysis tactics

Tottenham vs Man City: EPL Preview

Welcome to Tottenham Hotspur, new boys. Jose is about to introduce you to what he feels modern football is all about and you are going to love it.

What better way to sell the ideals of the new Spurs than seeing Mourinho send out five at the back, three sitting deep in the midfield and looking to smack it to Sonny on the counter-attack? That’s what people will be paying £100 a ticket for, right?

You may smirk and think I am going for the obvious narrative, but tell me I am wrong? Is there anyone out there who believes (a) Spurs have the team to go toe-to-toe with City or (b) even if they did it would cross Mourinho’s mind that Tottenham could actually beat them if they went for it?

No, of course not.

If you are into all that Premier League betting, you’ll have noted that Spurs are an incredible 6/1 to take all three points. That’s 6/1 in a two-horse race, folks. At home. When you are a team with alleged plans of making the top four. I mean, the draw is around 4.5/1 and that feels like the best value bet on this one – if Jose does do the obvious.

Tactically, that’s pretty much all I have got on this one – am I being lazy? I actually don’t think I am – Spurs did keep Liverpool quiet-ish for the first 70 minutes when they played the Jose way and probably did enough for a point on balance. It’s hard to believe they won’t try it again, the main potential change being that it is harder to leave Lo Celso out this time around given that he has made a very impressive start to life at the Lane.

Peppy G was all too aware that United might hit them on the break in the League Cup match on the week, leading to City going with a three-at-the-back-including-two-full-backs approach. There’s every chance we’ll see that again given City did dominate the game and really should have won. If Spurs do go with Lucas Moura and Son up top, then you’d think a defence of Walker, Fernandinho and Mendy would be able to cope. 

City are a bit of a crossroads in their season now – they are clearly not going to win the Premier League and there is no guarantee they’ll claw their way to second place. However, the Champions League resumes soon so they might start planning for their semi-final exit in that competition from now. And if all else fails, at least they’ve got the League Cup Final to fall back on.

City are just that little bit better than Spurs right now and we should see that in a 3-1 victory for Peppy G’s men. That said, a draw is not a complete fantasy and you’ll get a better return on your bet if you go down that road.