Football Special Report: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Preview

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Football Special Report: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Preview
The opening fixture of the Premier League weekend could not have been any better, the worldwide audiences could not have asked for a better game than the one at the City of Manchester Stadium today. The moneybags, Manchester City welcomes Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspurs as the two get the honour of getting the 10-11 season underway.
The last campaign saw the same two teams battle it out for a place in the top four and more of the same is expected this season and whoever draws first blood tonight will get a huge confidence boost going into the new season.
City were bitterly disappointed last season when Spurs beat them in what was almost a ‘Champions League Playoff. Peter Crouch got the most important goal as City lost on their home turf.
In addition, on the back of that win in May, it is now Spurs who are playing in the Champions League this season.
However, since that fateful day in May a lot has changed at the Eastland, it has been a summer of massive activity in the blue half of Manchester and their Italian manager is expected to have the perennial under-achievers in the title-mix come May.
City have spent in excess of 100 million pounds and brought in David Silva, Yaya Toure, Aleksander Kolarov, Jerome Boateng and Mario Balotelli, while talks are still underway for James Milner of Aston Villa and the deal is likely to be struck in the next few days.
There is a new look and feel to this year’s City team with a new defence, attack and midfield and Tottenham will be tested to the limits.
On the pitch, matters for both the sides have not been very good; City lost 4 of their last 5 pre season games. Even more worryingly for Spurs, as they are looking to come out of the blocks firing on all cylinders, they have only won 2 of their last 9 opening day fixtures.
On a more positive note, Spurs have won all but one of their last 12 games against City and have won the last six at their home, White Hart Lane.
The statistic is a worrying one for Mancini and he will be looking to redress that balance on Saturday lunchtime.
There are selection dilemmas for both the managers ahead of the game. Harry Redknapp is still pondering over whom to start upfront. Jermaine Defoe, Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane are all fit and available but the manager remains unsure.
Keane however, looks more likely to be paired with Defoe, as he is fresh from making his 100th International appearance for his country and has been in red hot form in the pre season.
Another man who will be pushing for a spot in the starting line up will be Gareth Bale, who is expected to shake off a leg injury that force him out of his country’s international friendly against Luxemburg on Wednesday.
Jonathan Woodgate and Roman Pavlyuchenko are out injured and are not expected to play any part in today’s game.
City on the other hand will be handing Premier League debuts for many of their summer recruits.
David Silva, Jerome Boateng, Aleksander Kolarov and Yaya Toure all are expected to feature in tonight’s game at the City of Manchester Stadium.
But the biggest selection dilemma for Mancini ahead of the game is who to play between the sticks for the Citizens, Mancini had earlier said that whoever starts in goal for the game against Spurs, will be his first choice keeper for the season and both Hart and Given will be anxiously waiting for a call.



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