How Conte and Kane can get revenge over Guardiola and Haaland as Tottenham take on Man City in key tactics battles | The Sun
4th February 2023

TWO weeks after one of the most thrilling matches of the season, Tottenham and Man City meet again this weekend.

Two teams who are currently going through very different situations will face each other.

While Pep Guardiola's side are in second place and looking to stay in contention for the title, Antonio Conte's men are fifth and focused on qualifying for the Champions League.

As in their last meeting, a fairly intense and competitive match is expected.

Due to the positive form that keeps Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, Guardiola knows very well that he must get victories in difficult games and this is one of them. 

Therefore, he will be looking to keep his team's spirits high, especially after the win over Mikel Arteta's side in the FA Cup, by getting the three points in this one.

read more on football

Haaland’s agent says she ‘can’t say no to Barcelona’ and teases £1BN transfer

Betting preview: Tips, predictions, boosted odds and sign up offers

Tottenham will have a very important absence, but off the pitch.

Antonio Conte will be out for a few matchdays after undergoing emergency surgery.

The exact number of games the Italian coach will miss is not yet known.

With the last match between these teams in mind, we decided to analyse four tactical areas that could make the difference this weekend in London.

Most read in Football


Newcastle's £45m ace Anthony Gordon may face jail after driving two DAYS into ban


Mason Greenwood eyes drastic move to restart football career if Man U sack him


Surprise Chelsea ace AXED from Champions League squad as three new men make list

Point to prove

Rashford’s goal celebration copied by stars like Saka – what does it mean?


City's build-up vs Tottenham's pressing

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City won the last game against Spurs in a thrilling 4-2 victory.

However, as the Spanish manager let it be known, he didn't like a lot of things about his team, who went into half-time 2-0 down.

Many of these were evident on the pitch.

"I don't recognise my team. They (previously) had the passion and desire to run", was one of the Spanish coach's phrases that caused most impact during the week. 

Manchester City's intention in the build-up phase is to lure the opposition into their box and then link up with players in free areas.

To do this, they have used Rico Lewis in the inside channels with the aim of attracting opponents higher, and then progressing by passing the ball to a player at the back of the opposing double pivot. 

The accumulation of players in midfield is something Guardiola enjoys greatly and has been one of City's main hallmarks this season.

However, in the last game against Tottenham, Guardiola's side were not quite right in these moments.

In fact, after the first few minutes, Conte's team changed their pressing and managed to win the ball back on several occasions.

Tottenham's pressure was effective and led to Spurs scoring the first goal in the reverse fixture.

For this reason, it will be very interesting to see what ideas Guardiola will have to counteract the defensive plans of a very intense opponent.

Unlike last week's FA Cup match against Arsenal, where the team benefited from long passes and Haaland-Holding duels, Man City will not be able to use this resource as often. 

However, they could look to link up with the wide players more often and then pass the ball to players on the inside behind the opposition’s press.

This brings us to the next potential key tactical decider.

Gundogan's role behind the pressure

Ilkay Gundogan is one of City's brightest players.

This is something that is evident in the intelligence with which he moves as he manages to appear in free areas frequently.

In the last match between the two clubs, many of City’s progressions were closely related to the German player's ability to find space to receive the ball.

On the occasions when Man City did manage to get to players out wide in the first third of the pitch, they were able to link up with Rodri so that he was the one to connect with Gundogan behind the opposition pressure. 

The quicker City's passing is, the more likely they are to get their captain between the lines.

This is a way through which the team can progress very often. 

However, if Gundogan delays his position or is marked, City can use Rico Lewis on the inside as a "Plan B" to have a free man on the inside lanes.

The positional interchange is usually fluid and difficult for the opposing double pivot to defend. 

Kane-Rodri duel

The Kane-Rodri duel was one of the keys to the last match and will be something to watch out for in this game as well.

The Spurs striker is usually very mobile in midfield, as he often drops deep and uses link-up play to move his team forward. 

To keep City's centre-backs in their own zone, the man in charge of chasing Kane on many occasions was Rodri.

Although the Spanish player did a great job defensively in this match, Kane managed to get him out of his area on several occasions and had it occupied by one of Tottenham's midfielders, allowing his team to progress in an indirect way.

Harry Kane receiving with time and space will always be a source of advantage for Tottenham.

Therefore, it will be one of the situations their opponents will try to avoid throughout the match.

In this sense, it could be interesting to see how Rodrigo Bentancur is used in the match, as close to Rodri-Kane he could cause the Spanish midfielder to hesitate on occasion.

This movement can allow Kane to receive with freedom to orchestrate his team's attacks.

As he showed in his last game, Dejan Kulusevski can also appear on the inside on several occasions and create passing lanes.

He is also a player who could enter the "Rodri zone" to generate a 2v1 and allow his team to progress.

However, both City full-backs are very clever at going long distances when pressing high.

And this created several problems for Spurs in the last game. 

Problems with Spurs' ball progression

Conte's Tottenham also look to lure their opponents into the build-up phase and then progress quickly through vertical passes aimed at one of the team's attacking players. 

However, in the last game, City were able to control their intentions to progress very well.

Guardiola's team blocked all kinds of chances from close range and "forced" the centre-backs into making the most difficult pass on several occasions.

Although this was Tottenham's main idea, having their potential receivers very well defended prevented them from progressing numerous times.

Talent can sometimes come out on top. Kulusevski has plenty of quality to keep possession and link up quickly.

However, he should also use some long passes into space for Son to attack behind the City defensive line.

Lewis/Aké's pressing runs are very intense, so drawing them in with one of the attacking players while another attacks the space in behind could be an interesting solution.

So what does this all mean?

Tottenham and Manchester City will have a tough test on Sunday.

Although both teams have different objectives this season, they need to win urgently.

Read More on The Sun

Woman’s dad converted the garage into a studio flat so she’d have her own space

Thousands missing out on up to £442 in free food vouchers – can you claim?

Pep Guardiola's side are aiming to reduce the number of points separating them and Arsenal but they will now face one of the teams that have made it more difficult for them in the last few seasons.

Losing this game could mean that Manchester City will not win the Premier League this year, so they will have to play with maximum concentration to get the victory in what will be a gruelling fixture for the champions.

Source: Read Full Article