• Kane, Son, Bale may hurt Guardiola’s men
There isn’t a bigger platform for Jose Mourinho to celebrate his one year in charge of Tottenham than when his London side claims victory over Manchester City that is managed by his old foe Pep Guardiola.
The two sides clash at the Tottenham Stadium today (Saturday), in one of the biggest matches in Europe this weekend. Mourinho inherited a side that was lacking in motivation and deficient in so many areas but Tottenham finally have a front three to rival those at Liverpool and Manchester City. Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s start to the season shows that, along with Gareth Bale, they can be a match for Jurgen Klopp and Guardiola’s much-vaunted attack There are mitigating factors, of course.
Mainly that Manchester City strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have managed just 110 and 180-odd minutes of Premier League football respectively this season. And that City, even at this early stage of the campaign, have played a game less. But Mourinho’s Tottenham will go into Saturday’s clash with Guardiola’s men boasting a goals-for record that is far superior to their visitors.
Nine more in eight games than City have managed in seven, to be precise, with only Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, with 20, having scored more than Spurs’s 19 this season. For Mourinho, a manager who has been heavily lambasted throughout his career for being defensive-minded, they are welcome stats. And while his critics will scoff that 11 of those goals have come in two games — a 5-2 victory at Southampton and 6-1 away win against the Portuguese’s old team, Manchester United — and that six of their other seven games yielded only six goals, the signs are still very positive. With eight goals to his name, Son is the top flight’s joint-leading scorer this season, alongside Jamie Vardy, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mo Salah.
In second place sits his Spurs team-mate Kane, with seven. Kane has had a renaissance of sorts this season as he has not just been their No. 9, but has also dropped deep to create chances.
The Englishman may have to play a deeper role if Mourinho sets up his side to counter-attack City. Kane may feed Spurs’ pacey wingers Son Heung-Min and Gareth Bale to attack City’s full-backs who have been vulnerable this season.
Son has used his pace and dribbling to good effect, causing a lot of problems to teams. Manchester City are still shaky at the back and the triumvirate of Kane, Bale, and Son could pose all sorts of questions if they are on their game. However, Guardiola will be desperate to see his forward Raheem Sterling fit and available as he has a good record against Spurs. The winger has scored eight goals in 16 appearances against Tottenham. Sterling who pulled out of England’s international engagement due to injury has had to bear the burden of the City attack lately due to the injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero.