The headline tie of the FA Cup fourth round takes place on Friday night. Here, we look ahead to it with our Tottenham vs Manchester City prediction and preview
Tottenham vs Manchester City Stats: The Quick Hits
- Manchester City (55.8%) are favourites to win this FA Cup tie with the Opta supercomputer; Spurs (21.4%) are rank outsiders despite being at home.
- Manchester City have won their last 21 FA Cup matches not played at Wembley – a run stretching back to January 2019.
- City have lost all five of their away games in all competitions at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, failing to score a single goal from their 84 shots.
The pick of the FA Cup fourth round ties pits reigning champions and favourites, Manchester City, against arguably their biggest bogey team, Tottenham. Under the lights on Friday night, this is a huge occasion.
City have always taken the FA Cup seriously, but it isn’t a competition they have won all that often by their standards. Two FA Cup successes in the last 12 seasons doesn’t reflect their recent dominance of English football; by way of comparison, they have won the Premier League seven times in that period. They did win the FA Cup last year, however, as part of their historic treble win. It was the second time Pep Guardiola had won the trophy.
Guardiola may be disappointed to have been drawn against Tottenham here, though, having lost all five of their trips to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions (four in the Premier League, one in the Champions League) without scoring a single goal. They have had 84 shots and 22 shots on target in those games without any finding the net. Guardiola has joked before that scoring away to Spurs is his next biggest challenge after completing last season’s treble.
While Man City are battling on three fronts and hoping to win the treble again this year, the FA Cup represents by far Spurs’ best chance of silverware. Fifth in the Premier League and eight points behind leaders Liverpool, the FA Cup is arguably their only opportunity of ending a trophy drought that stretches back to 2008. Manager Ange Postecoglou knows how much the fans want a trophy and will be taking the competition seriously, but he will be hoping for a better and more fluent performance than his team put in as they saw off Burnley in the previous round. That night, Spurs created very little and relied on Pedro Porro’s long-range strike to make the difference.
Tottenham have won 12 of their last 13 home FA Cup games since a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane in February 2016, but they won’t have faced as big a test as this in a long time. In fact, this is the first time they have faced the holders of the FA Cup on home soil since 1952, when they lost 3-0 to Newcastle.
What’s more, City have won their last 21 FA Cup matches played anywhere other than Wembley, making it at least as far as the semi-finals in each of the last five seasons. They thrashed Championship side Huddersfield 5-0 at home in the last round.
In terms of team news, Tottenham could be in for a big boost, with James Maddison having last week made his return to first-team training after an ankle injury that has ruled him out of action since that 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in early November. He may not be ready to start here, but there is a good chance he’ll be involved. Pape Sarr, Yves Bissouma and Son Heung-min are still away on international duty at the AFCON and Asian Cup respectively, while Giovani Lo Celso, Ben Davies and Alejo Velíz remain out injured.
City look likely to remain without key men Erling Haaland, John Stones and Manuel Akanji. Goalkeeper Ederson was forced off in the win over Newcastle last time out but it looked like a knock to the head which, after a 13-day break, he should have recovered from. Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, could be ready to make his first start since the opening day of the Premier League season.
Tottenham vs Manchester City Head-to-Head
This will be the 15th game between Tottenham and Manchester City in the FA Cup and first since a fourth round replay in 2003-04. That game produced a famous result, as City came from 3-0 down at half-time with 10 men to win 4-3, with Jon Macken scoring a 90th-minute winner.
Since then, there have been plenty of high-profile meetings, such as in the battle for Champions League qualification in 2010, as well as the Champions League quarter-final tie in 2019. City have won more trophies than Spurs could dream of in the intervening period, but Spurs have shocked their opponents plenty of times when these sides have met.
The most recent meeting is an example of just that, when a depleted and out-of-form Tottenham headed to the Etihad last month for a Premier League clash. Without 11 players due to injury or suspension and on a run of three consecutive defeats, Spurs went into an early lead and then twice came from behind to secure an invaluable and morale-boosting 3-3 draw.
City have not scored a single goal in their five trips to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, failing with all 84 of their attempts, including a missed penalty in the Champions League quarter-final defeat in 2019.
City come into the game on the better form, having won six in a row in all competitions despite being without Erling Haaland. That run does, however, include two games at the FIFA Club World Cup and a 3-2 win at Newcastle last time out that required a Kevin De Bruyne-inspired late turnaround and a 90th-minute winner from Oscar Bobb.
Spurs have won five of their last seven games, but in that time they also fell to a 4-2 defeat at Brighton with one of their worst performances since Postecoglou came in. They have, however, won four in a row on home soil since a 2-1 defeat to West Ham.
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 on Friday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Tottenham vs Manchester Prediction
Despite their poor record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Man City are still deemed favourites to win this match according to the Opta supercomputer. They are given a 55.8% chance of victory.
Spurs have just 21.4% chance of winning, while the tie was sent to a replay in 22.8% of scenarios.
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