Pre-Match Preview: Manchester City vs. Spurs – Sunday, 22nd January 2012

Spurs have done very well so far this season, breaking all records especially after two devastating defeats to both Manchester teams at the very beginning of the season.

How many times have we all heard “that tomorrow’s game is most crucial” and ” tomorrow’s game is a must win”. We all heard those  phrases when we had to play Stoke, Sunderland, Wolves and the list goes on and on.

So far, nobody has ever referred to any Spurs game as the Battle of all Battles. Well the time has now come and the Etihad Stadium is where the Battle of all Battles will take place for Spurs. This Sunday could be THE SUNDAY of our life so far on this planet. City come into this game as the league leaders with a tally of 51 points, compared to Spurs, who are in third place with a total tally of 46 points,
having dropped 3 points to Stoke and 2 points to Wolves.

The stats say that these teams first clashed in January of 1909, during an F.A. Cup game which Spurs won 4-3. This Sunday’s game will be the 144th time the teams have clashed.

The most outstanding game between the two teams must be that centenary F.A. Cup final in 1981, which ended in a 1-1 draw with City scoring first through Tommy Hutchinson who then also scored an own goal for Spurs to equalize.

The replay was even better than the first game simply because Spurs  won it in style; 3-2 with that unforgettable and most memorable goal scored by the one and only Ricky Villa. His goal was later voted as the “Goal of the Century” and the game itself was probably one of the best F.A. Cup finals since the 2nd World War.

Then in 2004, City got the better of us in a 4th round F.A. Cup game at White Hart Lane. Another  unbelievable game when Spurs were leading 3 – 0 at half time with goals from King, Keane and Ziege, only to lose the game 4 – 3 against a 10-man City side. The memories of that game still linger in my mind. Overall, Spurs have won 57 games compared to City’s 52 games and 34 games resulted in a draw.

Last season’s opening fixture saw Spurs at White Hart Lane play some beautiful football, only to draw against City with the return game ending in us losing, unlike the 2009/2010 emphatic away victory; 0 – 1 thanks to a marvellous Peter Crouch header. That victory was towards the top end of the season and sealed our Champions League entrance to the competition where Spurs did exceptionally well, having knocked out teams like A.C. Milan and Inter Milan, only to lose in the quarter-finals to Real Madrid.

The less said about this year’s home game the better. Spurs were not up to it on that day and were humiliated by a wide score of 5 – 1

Since then, Spurs have improved beyond anybody’s expectations, playing fancy football with the additions of Parker and Adebayor. All the pundits complements will now be put to the test on Sunday. City are a team that allow their opponents to play an open game, just like Spurs do. This will allow Spurs to unfold their footballing virtues for all to see. It will be a hard fought end-to-end game where steel nerves will prevail.

Both Mancini and Redknapp are shrewd tacticians and a mental battle will also take place. If Spurs have any title aspirations, this is the game they should desire to win. Any points dropped will mean a widening gap with the top and will shorten the gap with those behind us.

TO DARE IS TO DO, and Spurs will have to dare if they are to do. With the rub of the green going our way I can see an enthralling game with a score line of 2 – 3 to Spurs.

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