There are many, many differences between former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood and current gaffer Mauricio Pochettino. One is a gilet-wearing, player-bashing, Eastenders-type character, while the other is a much more reserved Argentine who you could bring to a family event in complete confidence that there is no chance he’d offend your Nan’s Victoria sponge, no matter how stodgy it is. One thing that both men have in common though is a dismal record against Manchester City, and that’s unlikely to improve when Tottenham travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
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The last three men to have managed Tottenham have all suffered thumping defeats by Manchester City in the last three seasons. Harry Redknapp saw his side demolished 5-1 at home in August 2011, Andre Villas-Boas suffered a 6-0 hammering at the Etihad in November 2013 a couple of weeks before he eventually got the boot, and then Tim Sherwood was on the end of another 5-1 mauling in January this year. It doesn’t exactly make for pretty reading if you’re a Spurs fan.
Those thinking that similar tonkings could come to an end with Pochetinno at the helm should probably consider the manager’s form against City boss Manuel Pellegrini. Those who merely dip in and out of Spanish football might not know that these managers have gone head to head plenty of times over the last five years, and more times than not, Pellegrini comes out on top.
- The City manager has won seven of the 11 meetings against Pochetinno – losing just twice.
- Pellegrini’s biggest wins were a couple of 3-0 victories while he managed Real Madrid and Pochetinno was at Espanyol, and a 4-1 victory in Man City’s clash with Southampton in April.
- In five of the 11 matches Pellegrini’s side have kept a clean sheet, although the more recent form suggests Pochettino’s side can find the net. In all three clashes between Southampton and Man City while Pochetinno was there, Saints found the net.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Spurs fans then. Pochetinno’s first ever game in English football was a 3-1 win with Saints at home to City in February 2013, although his only ever previous visit to the Etihad stadium ended in a 4-1 defeat. Swings, and indeed, roundabouts.
The trends suggest it should be one-way traffic in Man City’s favour, and the home side are unsurprisingly the red-hot 4/9 favourites to pick up three points, certainly one you’d be tempted to include in your Saturday accumulators. For punters scrambling around for a bit of value in the game itself however, it might be worth considering City’s two front-men. Both Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have mightily impressive records for Man City against Spurs, and they can continue that streak this weekend.
Aguero has played for just 369 minutes against Tottenham, racking up five goals – an average of a goal every 74 minutes. This season Aguero has managed five goals in just seven games, hitting the target with 60 per cent of his attempts and notching a 25 per cent conversion rate. He is the 7/2 favourite to open the scoring this weekend. Edin Dzeko’s record against Spurs is marginally better, bagging six goals at an average of one every 73 minutes, however he is in slightly worse form this year. he’s racked up just two goals in seven games and has missed the target with eight of his twelve attempts. The Bosnian striker is 9/2 to get back in form and break the deadlock against one of his favourite opponents.
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