Ange Postecoglou’s brilliant start to Premier League life unravelled in November. Can his Spurs team bounce back against the champions? We look ahead to Sunday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium with our Manchester City vs Tottenham prediction and preview.

Manchester City vs Tottenham Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer is predicting another disappointing day at the office for Ange Postecoglou on Sunday, with Manchester City given a 67% chance of beating Tottenham.
  • Postecoglou could become the first Spurs boss to lose four successive Premier League games since David Pleat did so between March and April 2004.
  • Tottenham’s Dejan Kulusevski has scored at Man City in each of the last two seasons. The only player to ever score away against the reigning Premier League champions in three successive campaigns is Danny Murphy, who did so in four between 2000-01 and 2003-04.

Match Preview

A few short weeks ago, Premier League fans might have viewed Sunday’s meeting between Manchester City and Tottenham as a potential clash between champions and challengers. While a genuine title race does look to be on the cards, Spurs now travel to the Etihad Stadium simply looking to halt their alarming slide after enduring a miserable November.

Coming into this weekend, just two points separated leaders Arsenal and fourth-placed Aston Villa, with City and Liverpool nestled in between. The 2015-16 season – when Leicester City won the title against all odds – is the only previous Premier League campaign to see such a slender gap between first and fourth after 13 games.

Tottenham are just two points back from that group, three adrift of City in second, but they feel much further away from title contention after a nightmarish month brought injuries to Micky van de Ven and James Maddison, as well as three successive Premier League defeats.

Spurs finished on the losing side despite opening the scoring against Chelsea (1-4), Wolves (1-2) and Aston Villa (1-2), becoming just the fifth team in Premier League history – and the first since Leicester City in 2014 – to lose three consecutive games when netting first. No team has ever done so in four straight matches.

Goals from Pau Torres and Ollie Watkins overturned Giovani Lo Celso’s deflected opener last Sunday as Ange Postecoglou’s team lost an entertaining encounter with Villa. Their selection crisis also deepened when Rodrigo Bentancur was forced off with an ankle injury following a heavy challenge from Matty Cash, and he could be sidelined until February. Fortunately, Yves Bissouma is available again after serving a one-match ban, while Pape Sarr could also be back in contention.

In defence, Cristian Romero will complete his three-match suspension, allowing him to return for next week’s London derby against West Ham. Emerson Royal and Ben Davies will likely continue as a makeshift centre-back pairing for this one.

As one would expect, Spurs’ selection issues have had a marked impact on their attacking output. They averaged 17.8 shots, 6.2 shots on target and 1.78 expected goals (xG) per game over their first 10 league matches this season. From their Matchday 11 defeat to Chelsea onwards, they have averaged 10.7 shots, five shots on target and 1.31 xG per outing.

Postecoglou will hope dynamic duo Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski get more joy against a City side susceptible to the counter-attack. Son has previously scored in away Premier League games against Leicester, Chelsea and Liverpool when they were defending the title, but no player has ever scored on the road against four different reigning champions.

Kulusevski, meanwhile, has scored at the Etihad in each of the last two seasons. The only player in Premier League history to score away against the champions in three consecutive campaigns is Danny Murphy, who did so in four between 2000-01 and 2003-04.

City, meanwhile, are looking to recapture their best form, having surrendered top spot after back-to-back Premier League draws with Chelsea (4-4) and Liverpool (1-1). They took the lead in both games before being pegged back, and they have not gone ahead in three successive league games while failing to win since November 2009.

It was Pep Guardiola’s team who were forced to fight back on Tuesday, though, as Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Julián Álvarez scored in a second-half rescue act as RB Leipzig were beaten 3-2 in the UEFA Champions League, a result which confirmed City as Group G winners.

Haaland’s strike saw him reach 40 Champions League goals in record time, requiring just 35 games to reach the landmark. Three days earlier against Liverpool, he obliterated Andy Cole’s record for the fewest matches needed to reach 50 Premier League goals, doing so in 48 appearances, 17 fewer than Cole. 

Erling Haaland 50 goals

He has yet to lose any of the 32 Premier League games in which he has scored, winning 27 and drawing five, with only four players in the competition’s history netting in more matches without losing any of them.

Tricky winger Jérémy Doku – who completed a remarkable 11 dribbles against Liverpool – will likely return to Man City’s lineup after being rested in midweek, while Guardiola could also restore John Stones to the team. Kevin De Bruyne is City’s only long-term absentee, with Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes doubtful.

Manchester City vs Tottenham Head-to-Head

Since Guardiola joined City in 2016, they have lost more Premier League games against Tottenham (six) than against any other opponent. Only Liverpool, meanwhile, have matched Spurs’ tally of 19 league goals against Guardiola’s City.

Pep Guardiola record vs Premier League opponents

Indeed, Tottenham have five wins in their last seven league games against City (two defeats), more than in their previous 19 against them (four wins, three draws, 12 losses).

One of Spurs’ victories came when the teams last met in February, as Harry Kane surpassed Jimmy Greaves to become the club’s all-time top goalscorer in a 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

City did, however, earn three points in this exact fixture in January, fighting back from 2-0 down to boost their title hopes with a crucial 4-2 victory, with Riyad Mahrez scoring twice.

Man city 4-2 tottenham stats

Despite struggling against Tottenham in north London, Man City have a good record in head-to-head meetings between the teams at the Etihad Stadium. They have lost just two of their last 13 home league games against Spurs (nine wins, two draws), going down 2-1 in February 2016 and 3-2 in February 2022.

Recent Form

Neither team approaches Sunday’s game in sparkling Premier League form.

Tottenham are just the third team in English top-flight history to go unbeaten through their first 10 games of a season before losing their next three, after Huddersfield Town in 1924-25 and Sheffield United in 1971-72.

Indeed, Spurs last endured a longer losing run in Premier League action between October and November 2004, with Jacques Santini and Martin Jol managing three games apiece as the team lost six on the spin.

Postecoglou could become the first Tottenham boss to oversee four successive league defeats since David Pleat between March and April 2004, with Spurs going on to finish 14th that season.

City have failed to win four of their last seven Premier League matches (two draws, two defeats) – as many as in their previous 26 (22 wins, two draws, two defeats). They are looking to avoid drawing three successive league games for the first time since doing so between March and April 2017 in Guardiola’s first season in charge, having drawn their last two games, against Chelsea and Liverpool. This run follows three successive wins since the defeat to Arsenal, against Brighton Manchester United and Bournemouth.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester City vs Tottenham Opta Player Ratings

The Opta Player Ratings are something we introduced ahead of 2023-24. For a quick primer on how they’re calculated, you can check our explainer here.

Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:

Man City

Rodri: 88.3 (out of 100)
Erling Haaland: 84.3
Bernardo Silva: 80.9
Manuel Akanji: 77.5
Kyle Walker: 77.3


Son Heung-min: 84.3 (out of 100)
James Maddison: 78.4
Pape Matar Sarr: 72.6
Micky van de Ven: 71.3
Yves Bissouma: 70.7

These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.

Manchester City vs Tottenham Prediction

Man City vs Tottenham Prediction

According to the Opta supercomputer’s predictions, this is the most one-sided matchup taking place in the Premier League this weekend. City’s 67% chance of victory is greater than that assigned to any other team on Matchday 14.

Of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, Spurs won just 12.6%, with 20.4% ending level.

Although City are still overwhelming title favourites, topping 79.3% of the supercomputer’s season simulations, Liverpool (10.2%) and Arsenal (9.3%) are both emerging as pretenders to their throne.

Tottenham’s 0.1% chance of winning the title, meanwhile, makes them less favoured than Aston Villa (0.8%) and Newcastle United (0.3%). Sixth is now their most common position in our projections, with Spurs finishing there in 20.9% of scenarios and only securing a top-four spot in 19.2%.

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