Tottenham must break Manchester City hoodoo if they are to challenge for top four

Tottenham take on Manchester City this Sunday knowing that they need to pick up three points to get their challenge for a top four finish in the Premier League back on track. The north London side have suffered against City of late, with no wins in the last five meetings between the sides, but Andre Villas-Boas’ men will need to end this three-year hoodoo to salvage their campaign.

Tottenham’s last victory over Manchester City came back in May 2010, with a Peter Crouch goal securing victory, and fourth place in the league, at Eastlands. Since then it has been one draw and four defeats for the White Hart Lane club, and Spurs fans may well be thinking that a bit of revenge is on the cards.

Sergio Aguero and Gareth Bale

The defeats of late include a 5-1 drubbing on the first day of last season at White Hart Lane, but a game that sticks more in the memory is the 3-2 loss at the Etihad Stadium in the reverse fixture. Spurs had put their terrible start to the campaign behind them and were all guns blazing towards a place in the Champions League – some were even touting Harry Redknapp’s men as an outside contender for the title. However, an end-to-end game proved heartbreak for the travelling support, as Jermain Defoe came within inches of winning the game in the dying moments, before City went up the other end and Mario Balotelli scored a penalty. Tottenham’s characteristic second half of the season demise started there.

The predictable demise has started to take effect again this term with unnecessary defeats in the league to Liverpool and Fulham, and elimination from the Europa League at the hands of Basel. The slip up means that Villas-Boas’ men have dropped from third to fifth place, two points behind Arsenal (with a game in hand) and three adrift of Chelsea.

All is not yet lost, but this weekend could be a real factor in who ends up in the Champions League next term and who is awarded the runners-up prize of the Europa League. With Chelsea travelling to Liverpool on Sunday and having cup success in the back of their mind, there is every chance that Spurs can claw back some, if not all, of the deficit that separates the clubs. Arsenal should win at Fulham, but ex-Spurs boss Martin Jol will want a reaction from his side after their midweek home defeat to Chelsea.

Spurs have Gareth Bale back in contention for the clash with City, which is a real boost for the hosts. However Spurs should not solely rely on their Welsh wizard to individually win them the game – a team effort and belief in the camp is needed to pick up three points. If they don’t, wins for Chelsea and Arsenal could mean that the gap is too great for Spurs to come back from with only five games remaining.

About Gareth McKnight
I am an enthusiastic and dedicated freelance football writer, with a passion for the beautiful game. I am a lifelong Spurs fan, and ninetyminutesonline is my thoughts on the current affairs of world football.

One Response to Tottenham must break Manchester City hoodoo if they are to challenge for top four

  1. “The predictable demise”

    You say predictable demise but most people were saying they were certs for third and had a good chance of finishing second a couple of months ago.

    Even the usually pessimistic Spurs fans were feeling confident. After they beat Arsenal, I heard a podcast that featured a Spurs fan who went through their remaining fixtures and he predicted they would finish with 74 points.

    I don’t think Spurs will be out of the race for fourth if they lose on Sunday but I think they would have to win all their remaining games to finish above Chelsea or Arsenal and given that they’ve got to go to The Bridge(they haven’t won in their last 27 games there!) and the potentially tricky Wigan and Stoke, I just can’t see that happening.

    I’ve been saying all season that Spurs will finish fifth and sadly(I don’t like Chelsea and I hate Arsenal), it looks as though I’m going to be right.

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