Victory on Tuesday for Manchester City will secure Champions League football next season for the Eastlands club but they might just have to wait a little longer to guarantee a top-four finish.
A month or so ago this fixture against Tottenham looked like it would be pivotal in the race for the much coveted fourth spot but Harry Redknapp’s men have stuttered towards the finish line and it now looks highly unlikely Spurs will be back for more Champions League football next term.
That said, Redknapp’s men will know that their opponents are likely to have at least one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Stoke City and I couldn’t be backing the host at odds on in the circumstances.
Having picked up just nine points from their previous nine matches, Spurs have faltered when it mattered most but they did win here last season, Peter Crouch proving the hero, and always perform better against the bigger sides.>
Spurs drew 1-1 with Blackpool on Saturday, Jermain Defoe rescuing a point in the 89th minute, but prior to that had showed tremendous resilience to share six goals with Arsenal and were also robbed of a point at Stamford Bridge.
With securing a piece of silverware the immediate priority for Roberto Mancini, a point on Tuesday would suit the Italian and I think that’s exactly what he will get.
City were excellent at Wembley in their FA Cup semi-final against rivals Manchester United but their Premier League form has not convinced for some time now and back-to-back away defeats on Merseyside have highlighted their frailties.
With Spurs somewhat depleted, Gareth Bale will miss the rest of the season, and Manchester City’s focus perhaps elsewhere this has all the makings of a low-scoring contest and a goalless stalemate wouldn’t surprise. The value is to be taking on the home team though, despite their excellent record in front of their own fans, and at 1.98 I’ll be doing just that.
2pts Lay Man City (vs. Tottenham) @ 1.98 (Betfair)