Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur tips: Premier League champions looking to reignite title race

Tipstrr football expert Sergiu Baltuta looks ahead to Thursday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, both of whom need a win to reignite their season.

Last weekend's 2-1 derby defeat left Manchester City eight points adrift of league leaders Arsenal, and made Pep Guardiola take the stance that the title fight is lost and that they have minimal chances to defend their title.

That approach might be a case of Ferguson-esque mind games, but this season City have already had three defeats and three draws, and have only managed two wins in their last five games, compared to Arsenal's 13 points over the same period.

At the moment, even the runner-up spot looks far from certain for City, as they have only a one-point buffer ahead of Newcastle United and their Manchester rivals, United.

All things considered, any wrong step could be decisive for the defending champions, who seem unable to get their season going after the World Cup, with the only relatively easy win being against Leeds 3-1.

Their defence in particular has been an issue, and is the area where City have suffered most of their squad problems. Ruben Dias and John Stones are both injured and will be unavailable against Tottenham, while Aymeric Laporte is still not yet fully fit.

Last season, City suffered a 2-3 loss at home to Tottenham, but at the moment the Londoners are also in a very tough spot, picking up just four points from their last four games.

Surprisingly for Italian manager Antonio Conte, defence seems to be Spurs' weak point, having leaked six goals in their last four games, and this season they have found themselves having to come from behind in most of their games.

Sunday's 2-0 defeat in the North London derby saw them outclassed by their arch rivals Arsenal, and illustrated they need to improve in all areas.

One of the main causes for concern has been the poor form of Heung Min Son, who has scored only three goals this season, which has piled extra pressure on the shoulders of Harry Kane, who fortunately has been up to the task so far.

Lucas Moura will be unavailable, while Rodrigo Bentancur is uncertain as he still recovers from the injury suffered at the World Cup.

Despite their woes, Spurs are undefeated away from home in their last three games (two wins, one draw) while City have looked uncharacteristically unconvincing form at home.

Their last home win in the Premier League was on November 5th, when they beat Fulham 2-1, and since then they lost to Brentford and only managed a draw against Everton, albeit while enjoying cup successes against Liverpool and Chelsea.

Twelve of the last 14 games between the two teams have produced over 2.5 goals, while Tottenham have conceded at least two goals in eight of their last nine games.

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