Jack Grealish set for full competitive debut - Tottenham vs Manchester City Preview
Watch Harry Kane's Tottenham Hotspur host Champions Manchester City live on Sky Sports Main Event from 15:30 BST on Sunday with kick-off set for 16:30. Follow all the action and build-up on our Twitter page, with team news set to be announced an hour prior to the kick-off.
The Premier League is back this weekend as 20/21 Premier League champions Manchester City head back to the capital to face Tottenham only a week after their curtain-raiser against Leicester in the Community Shield. The Blues are yet to win at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and with a depleted squad, Guardiola will know the importance of a fast start, especially with their rivals having kind opening fixtures.
Pep Guardiola's squad was already depleted heading into the season due to most of the squad heading into the latter stages of the European Championships and with Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden already out through injury, City's squad isn't at full strength. The Blues' English contingent have trained this week, as have Ederson and Gabriel Jesus who took part in the Copa America, so the squad could look significantly stronger than it did a week ago in the Community Shield, where teenagers Cole Palmer and Sam Edozie had to fill in for the absent Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish who wasn't quite up to speed yet.
Kevin De Bruyne remains sidelined with an ankle injury that is getting better, according to Pep Guardiola, whilst Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling could both be involved this weekend with the Englishmen getting on well in training this week, according to the boss.
Even with a full squad, City haven't had great success on this ground - non in fact, with three losses in their only three visits thus far. First was a Champions League loss in 2019, then came back-to-back two-nil losses to a Jose Mourinho Tottenham, with forward Son Heung-Min scoring on all three occasions. City have been haunted by the forward over recent seasons, with the Korean netting five goals in his five appearances against City after only one in his first six. Can City stop him this time? Only time will tell.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick & Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
VAR: Stuart Attwell
AVAR: Constantine Hatzidakis
DEFENDING THE CROWN
City took the title last season off the back of a stunning twenty-one straight wins over the winter period but that success comes rarely and another slow start like last season could leave the Blues too far behind on their rivals to play catch up again like a year prior. With Manchester United already stating their claim and Chelsea and Liverpool also securing comfortable wins, if City start slow again they may be left too far adrift early on to mount a comeback, even with another win-streak similar to that of 2020/21. The potential signing of Harry Kane does feel like one that would tilt the title race back in the Blues' favour though and the higher-ups at the club will push for a deal next week, according to various sources. Regardless of what happens on that front, this season will be a battle from start to finish, so it's crucial to start strong.
Manchester City's rivals will up their level this season with Chelsea and Manchester United already making significant moves in the market although Harry Kane could tilt the title race back in the favour of Pep Guardiola's team.
Nuno Espirito Santo has said that he will make late decisions on most of his players before deciding on a starting XI for Sunday's game but has said that Harry Kane and Christian Romero are getting better, as is Bryan Gil. Japhet Tanganga is also better after being forced out of the side's 1-0 win over Arsenal.
Possible Tottenham XI: Lloris; Tanganga; Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon; Lo Celso, Hojbjerg; Lucas, Dele, Bergwijn; Son
Kevin De Bruyne remains a doubt for the game with Pep Guardiola saying that the Belgian is getting better but does some training alone and some with the team. Phil Foden is out until at least the first game after the international break but as for the rest of City's English players, the boss says they have come back really well and are ready for the new season. The same goes for Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, who both came back this week. Jack Grealish could be set to make his first start for the club after signing from Aston Villa for £100m in the summer.
Jack Grealish looks set for a first competitive start.
Possible City XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Rodri, Bernardo; Mahrez, Torres, Grealish
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