Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City: 3 key battles that might decide the game

The quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League are almost upon us, and Tottenham Hotspur will host Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Arena later today.

This will be Spurs’ second match at their new stadium, but after a comfortable win over Crystal Palace, things will be much more difficult against a Manchester City side looking to make a mark in Europe this season.

Here are three key battles that could decide the outcome of this highly-anticipated match-up this midweek.

Moussa Sissoko vs Fernandinho

The battle between these two midfielders could be key in what is expected to be a cagey affair at North London this week.

Sissoko has been the mainstay of the Tottenham Hotspur midfield following the injury of Eric Dier, while Fernandinho made his return from injury in the win over Brighton and is expected to start against Spurs on Tuesday.

The Brazilian will be tasked with the responsibility of providing defensive cover for the backline, but the dynamic nature of Sissoko’s game could be difficult for the veteran midfielder to deal with, making this one of the most fascinating personal duels in this enticing encounter.

Ball recoveries will be crucial, and Fernandinho often excels at that in midfield.

Christian Eriksen vs Kevin de Bruyne

Two of the best playmakers in the world will lock horns against each other.

Eriksen has always been an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield setup, and the Dane will once again be vital to Spurs’ chances of beating Man City on Tuesday. His ability to thread passes into the final third will help his side create chances but Eriksen will also need to be wary of de Bruyne’s threat in midfield.

The Belgian has the ability to evade the opposition press with neat passing and quick-link up play and his combination with Bernardo Silva and David Silva will be vital to Man City’s approach play against Tottenham this week.

Therefore, the outcome of this personal duel could go a long way in depicting the outcome of this game.

Jan Vertonghen vs Raheem Sterling

Sergio Aguero is facing a race to be fit before Tuesday’s encounter with Tottenham, which means Raheem Sterling could once again be the central figure of the Man City attack, should the Argentine fails to make the squad this week.

Pep Guardiola could deploy Sterling as the false nine, where the English international will look to make use of his pace and dynamism to cause problems for the opposition defence.

However, he will be closely watched by Spurs’ defensive stalwart Jan Vertonghen, who will likely to occupy the left-sided role in the centre half position. The Belgian will, however, hope to have support from partnering defenders as Spurs look to preserve a clean sheet at home.

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