Two of the greatest managers in football meet on Saturday as Pep Guardiola brings his Manchester City side to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham. Liverpool’s injury worries mean that both of these sides have the chance to fight for the Premier League title this season, and this result could be important in deciding the next champion of England! Mercury International have looked at the key talking points for the game.
Mourinho v Guardiola
Although these are two fantastic teams playing in the biggest league in the world, the real stars of this fixture are the managers. These two men have claimed trophies at the greatest clubs in the world, from Real Madrid and Barcelona to Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Each of them has won eight league winner’s medals during their careers as a coach, as well as two Champions League titles.
It’s not just about their status as individuals, though. Mourinho and Guardiola have been rivals for over a decade. Back in 2008 Mourinho believed that Barcelona, a club at which he had worked from 1996 to 2000, would make him their new manager. They chose former player Guardiola instead, and he won three competitions in his first season.
In their previous 23 encounters as managers, Guardiola has ten victories to his name, while Mourinho has just won five times. However, the “Special One” did take all three points when these two last met in February, as Tottenham beat City 2-0 on home turf. In fact, while both men have been working in England their records against one another are identical: three wins, one draw and three defeats. Saturday’s match promises to be an evenly-contested battle!
Tottenham are second in the Premier League standings, having not lost any of their last seven games. Only Chelsea (20) have scored more times than Mourinho’s side (19). Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are responsible for 15 of those goals, and Spurs fans will hope that the two continue their good form when Manchester City visit. Son has netted four times in his last five games against Guardiola’s side. Kane, meanwhile, recently scored his 150th goal in the Premier League.
They will be facing a side that have recorded the highest goal tally in each of the last three league seasons. However, it has not been the same for the visitors so far in 2020/21. City have only managed to score once in each of their last five games in the Premier League.
Last season Guardiola’s side failed to score in this fixture, while they were defeated 1-0 on their only previous visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This is a worry, especially given Mourinho’s reputation for defensive strength in big games. Sergio Aguero may not be fit to start on Saturday, so City’s hopes will likely rest with Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne. Will any of them be able to grab a goal?
Two elite managers, lots of world-class attackers and one big opportunity for both teams. This should be an exhilarating fixture!
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