Force errors, the White Wall and use Moura cleverly – a blueprint for Spurs to beat Man City including the best starting XI

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SPURS are hoping for another new stadium boost when they take on Manchester City in tonight’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.

But while Mauricio Pochettino’s side pulled off one of the all-time group stage comebacks to reach the knock-out round and then proved too solid for Borussia Dortmund, City represent another challenge altogether.

Martin Lipton’s Tottenham XI to beat Man City: a fluid 4-3-3 formation reverting into the 4-5-1 at times

Pep Guardiola’s side have won their last three competitive games against Spurs, including two Wembley wins.

So how can Tottenham turn the form book and odds over?

SunSport seeks five possible reasons to believe the White Wall could witness something special.

1 ECHO ANFIELD

This time last season, City were blown away by the Anfield factor – although the attack on the team bus might well have played a part.

You can be sure the Met Police will guarantee there are no bottles thrown in N17 but Pochettino will be begging for the Spurs fans to be equally hostile inside the ground.

The White Wall at the South End of the new White Hart Lane was designed to be an intimidating force for the home side and the ground will be a seething, fervent cauldron.

But just as critical is that Spurs play with the intensity Liverpool showed 12 months ago and find the drive to create doubt in Guardiola’s team.

Tottenham must play with fire and fury, backing on the attacking talents of the DESK – Dele, Eriksen, Son and Kane – to slam down on City’s Champions League dreams.

Getty Images – Getty

Spurs fans need to make sure they use the acoustics of the White Wall at the South End stand to intimidate Man City with fervent support[/caption]

2 FORCE THE ERRORS

Liverpool’s attacking press did the damage 12 months ago and Pochettino may feel an aggressive 4-3-3 set-up is what is needed.

The return of Harry Winks, the best rotation passer in the squad, will make a difference but the key would be for Dele, Kane and Son to start the press, with Eriksen, Moussa Sissoko and the full-backs equally aggressive.

No team likes being forced to play too early and there might be a chance to rattle City at the back.

Poch will remember, though, that he tried that at the Etihad last season and came away on the receiving end of a 4-1 thumping when Ederson played out over the press and found his men high up the pitch.

It means Tottenham cannot allow City to get the ball down when the keeper looks to play longer. Every tackle must be crisp, firm and immediate, keeping the pressure on.

3 LEARN TO REST

That 4-3-3 can become a 4-5-1 at times, too. And that is the approach that has been one that works for Poch in Europe.

Against Dortmund, in both games, the Spurs boss was prepared to concede possession and territory, but then look to hit with penetration and pace.

Sitting off City and frustrating them is a risky business but if that see Guardiola’s team over-commit going forward, the space will be there for Son in particular to exploit.

Whether the home fans will really expect to see Spurs play a reactive game for 90 minutes is unlikely.

It might, though, be a tactic Poch looks to deploy at some stage, especially if his side can nose themselves in front.

4 JAN THE MAN

Danny Rose played as a left-sided midfielder against Palace but his post-match comments suggested he might be in danger of being emotionally spent.

And it would be no shock if Pochettino opted for a slightly different look to his normal back line.

Jan Vertonghen switched to left back against Dortmund at home, with Toby Alderweireld paired with Juan Foyth.

Vertonghen initially had his hands full with Jadon Sancho but won the battle and then created Son’s opener before stealing in to volley home the second.

The Belgian’s ability to deliver from deep or a more advanced role suggests he could be a way of getting at City.

However, he could find himself up against both Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker.

Maybe it is worth the gamble though. Alderweireld could play with either Foyth or Davinson Sanchez in the middle.

Versatile Jan Vertonghen could take Danny Rose’s spot on the left flank
Reuters

5 MOURA LESS

Lucas Moura caused Liverpool all sorts of problems at Anfield in what was arguably his best performance since that double at Old Trafford at the start of the season.

The Brazilian did also score the late goal at the Nou Camp that got Spurs through to the last 16 and while Pochettino has some doubts about him, he has real pace.


Expect to see a late, 20 minute cameo from the South American, with Pochettino seeking to exploit any tiring limbs in the City ranks.

That will also allow Son to know he can go full throttle for an hour or so, rather than trying to leave something in his legs.

Spurs will only hurt City if they are bang at it whenever they can be.

Mauricio Pochettino should use Lucas Moura wisely, deploying him for the final 20 minutes to exploit tiredness among City players
Getty Images – Getty

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