Manchester City surrender to Spurs for their final Premier League game, as Pep Guardiola kicks off new contract against Jose Mourinho

Manchester City are back in the Premier League, boosted by this week’s announcement that Pep Guardiola has signed a new contract

Guardiola has committed his future to City until 2023, but insisted his challenge was to simply win the next game when discussing longer-term goals City need to beat Spurs to climb the table and get closer to the top leaders, while Jose Mourinho’s men can claim their own victory – something they achieved the last time these two sides met.

City could welcome Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling to their squad again after injury, but Fernandinho and Nathan Ake are permanently ruled out

The build-up to this match saw Guardiola responding to Mourinho’s pre-match suggestions that Sterling’s injury, contracted on an international assignment with England, might not have been as bad as it was thought so Guardiola refused to get caught up in a debate, but ordered Mourinho to speak to medics in England and the city, rather than speculating

Both teams are on the pitch before the match and there are only a few minutes left before the big kick-off

There is a minute of applause before the game in memory of former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence

Spurs dedicated this game to his honor and to raise awareness among charities about prostate cancer

A bit of a weird scene before kickoff, as former teammates Joe Hart and John Stones argue on the pitch

When was the last time City had four full-backs starting in three consecutive Premier League games?

It must have been a while, but this is what we have today and there was no doubt that Walker, Dias, Laporte and Cancelo were going to start

The last four have been a major problem for Guardiola for the last 15 months or so, but it looks like we’re on the verge of finding a solution now

Cancelo may not be a longtime left-back, but he’s the Blues’ best right now, and he’s arguably the strongest defense available for Guardiola at the moment

Stability is winning games The manager depends on the results, with contract, without contract

They did it with me and they will do it without me They want to win and do well and that’s the important thing

The team is perfect, so good We will score, it’s the same team, 80-90 percent who has scored over 100 the last few seasons The team is so good

We will try to start over, focus on each match In three days we have Europe, then another, another Then until the next international break, in four months

In six months the season is over So go out there, let them play and try to do our best

Pep Guardiola spoke to Sky Sports ahead of the game, discussing the absences of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero

On Sterling: I decide for the players He trained one day, last week He has a particular physicality, he is not perfect perfect

On Aguero: Important, I hope he won’t be able to come down He came back, it’s important We worked some time without strikers Gabriel did well after a long time against Liverpool Important to have both All clubs need important players, when Sergio is in good shape, as a striker he is amazing

A welcome return to training yesterday was Benjamin Mendy, who appeared in photos posted by City

He’s not back today, but Mendy will face the challenge of reclaiming his place from Joao Cancelo every time he returns

So it’s a great game for Cancelo to claim his own place in the team

A look at the two team sheets shows two very strong starting teams, but two incredibly strong benches

Gareth Bale, Lucas Moura, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling could all leave the bench, as could Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and Carlos Vinicius

Looks like both managers are keeping some firepower for the second half, so it will be fascinating to see how Guardiola and Mourinho have organized their squads

This team is probably as strong as City could be when all fitness issues are factored in

I love the look of Bernardo alongside Kevin De Bruyne in midfield, and the inclusion of Ferran Torres after his hat-trick in Spain seems logical

Riyad Mahrez returns after being completely abandoned against Liverpool, and he reacted exactly as Guardiola would have liked with two mature performances for Algeria this week

“We all know Raheem is going to play,” was Mourinho’s message yesterday when he hinted that City were exerting influence over Gareth Southgate to prevent players from making the England squad

If he wants to play, it’s only from the bench, so maybe his injury was more serious than Jose thought after all. He only returned to training for the first time on Friday

Team news for both teams is around 15 minutes away and there are plenty of questions from the city perspective to answer

A confusing scene off the ground with a reel mumbling “tickets to the game” through his beard Old habits die hard Unfortunately there will be no tickets today

This is City’s third visit to this stadium and while the previous two haven’t left for them, the vibe for both has been fantastic

It’s a shame that such an imposing pitch is empty today given the feeling of renewal in the air, for City in particular, but also for Tottenham, who have had a good start to the season under Jose Mourinho

Guardiola’s contract extension was celebrated by City fans, so it’s a shame they aren’t here today and we won’t be here that roaring chorus of “We have Guardiola” screaming from the other side

Less than two hours now until the action begins and about 45 minutes until team news is confirmed

When everyone is in good shape, the usual options for big games on either wing would be Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez

But the form at the international break of Phil Foden and Ferran Torres makes this decision difficult for Pep Guardiola

Both youngsters will be full of confidence and will wear this in today’s game if they are selected

The same decision can be said for the forward role, with Gabriel Jesus scoring a one-game goal for City this season but Sergio Aguero the more seasoned option

It will be interesting to see if Guardiola gets the experience or the form in his attacking positions

Tottenham are the Premier League’s top scorer so far this season, with Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane in formidable form

Throw Gareth Bale into the mix and you’ve got a rather dangerous trio to keep silent

“Of course we want [revenge] Hope we can win this time We need it so we will fight to the end to beat them

“I think they are very good players [Kane, Son, Bale], but we also have very good defenders. We will have to be very focused and we hope to be able to keep a clean sheet”

That 2-0 loss to Spurs last season was a result that roughly sums up City’s struggles to catch up with Liverpool in the title race

After the controversial missed penalty and potential second penalty, Aleks Zinchenko was sent off and City imploded along with a spirited performance from Spurs

The difference for this meeting, however, is that Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi at back are likely to be replaced by Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias, with Joao Cancelo likely to replace Zinchenko at left-back

It’s a more solid back line, so now they just need the attackers to try their luck more than they did in February

Although as Mourinho and Guardiola each pointed out ahead of the game, it is the two teams that will be able to field a stronger eleven today

Sergio Aguero has trained this week according to Guardiola and could be available for his second return from injury this season

Last time, City pulled him back with three starts in a week, and that backfired considerably

Now, with Gabriel Jesus back, it would make sense to relieve Aguero from the bench

But with 12 goals and 4 assists in 18 appearances against Spurs, perhaps Aguero’s experience would come in handy early on, then bring Jesus later with new legs

Tottenham ended a six-game winless streak in this game in February with a 2-0 win, which seems like a long, long time ago considering everything that has happened since

City’s performances so far at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have not been ideal either, not winning any of their visits

In both matches, Son Heung-Min found the net for Spurs and Hugo Lloris saved a penalty for City

Chelsea’s lunchtime victory means they lead the Premier League, ahead of Leicester on goal difference

This keeps City away from the top six points, and it could expand to eight tonight if Spurs beat them

It’s far too early in an unpredictable season to say this is a game that could make or break City’s title hopes, but a win would certainly make their chances much healthier tonight.

This game had a lot of talking points ahead of news of Guardiola’s new contract this week

City might really need to win to take advantage of this Liverpool draw and move up the table – to the detriment of a team above them too

Then there’s Guardiola vs Mourinho, City’s worst record at Spurs new stadium, the possible return of Sergio Aguero and arguably the biggest test of City’s new defense yet!

So when Guardiola stole the talking points while putting together his new offering, everything is set to be a cracker!

Pep Guardiola has big decisions to make with his side to face Tottenham after the two-week international break

Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero are both available but may not be risky as they have just returned

Man City

World news – GB – Tottenham vs Manchester City LIVE

Source: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/tottenham-vs-man-city-live-19321892