Pellegrini's under-performers look ahead to a Sunday spar with Spurs
By Adam Bailey
Late comebacks and late goals have been a welcome characteristic of City - Spurs clashes down the years, but is it too late for Manchester City to resurrect their fading title hopes?
The Blues slump in a dismal eighth place after eleven Premier League games and contemptible comparisons are already being made regarding City's irresistible home and painful away form. Pellegrini's men suffered a customary 1-0 loss at 'The Stadium Of Plight' a fortnight ago in a phlegmatic performance and a number of dark clouded questions now lie over the Chilean's head.
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The dullness of the International break has been affecting even the media who have taken their time to concoct a menacing cauldron of rumours designed to render City's path up the table even more slippery. Star striker Sergio Agüero and Yaya Touré are the latest players to declare their happiness in Manchester and refute claims of an impending move away from the Etihad.
André Villas-Boas' side may sit a point ahead of their hosts, but the Portuguese has also experienced some niggling problems this campaign. The Lilywhites have struggled in front of goal since Gareth Bales £85m move to Real Madrid in summer and crashed to an unpalatable 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle two weeks ago. With only nine goals to boast as opposed to City's twenty-eight, Spurs will be relying on their solid defensive record to keep out Agüero and Álvaro Negredo on Sunday.
Matija Nastasić and Fernandinho have been declared fit to play after missing out on City's 1-0 loss to Sunderland two weeks ago whilst Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Stevan Jovetić are expected to return on the December 4. Pellegrini has refused to declare whether Joe Hart will return between the sticks, but uncertainty suggests he'll remain on the bench. Christian Eriksen will not feature for Spurs after suffering an ankle injury for Denmark.
City fans will have hoped that they could escape the times when City v Spurs games wielded so much importance, however, Sunday's eighth vs seventh clash could potentially kick start either team's average start to the season.
If home form is anything to go by, it should be an easy Sunday afternoon for the Blues, but unpredictability, I'm sure, will continue to shadow us for decades to come.
Although it sounds ridiculous, I'd be more hopeful of a win against Real Madrid at home than a win away against a team like Crystal Palace. It's enjoyable to comment on our blistering home form but we can not ignore our failures on the road which will ultimately (if it continues) rule us out of the title race.
With a vivacious home crowd and plenty of goals at our disposal, I expect our class to shine through on Sunday and I feel we'll win comfortably.
Prediction: City 2 - 0 Spurs