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Tottenham v Manchester City: Which team has the stronger English contingent?

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Ahead of their match this Saturday we take a look and compare Tottenham and Manchester City's English players...

Spurs may have the larger pool of home-grown talent - but does that mean they have a stronger  contingent than City?

The draw has been made, with England fans counting the days until Gareth Southgate’s charges head to the World Cup in Russia, with a favourable-looking draw only whetting appetites yet further.

Personnel from two teams will be especially key to England’s chances of ending 52 years of hurt. City are likely to have at least four players in Southgate’s squad, while Tottenham are likely to provide five, fitness permitting.

Manchester City v Burnley - Premier League

Up front, City, somewhat surprisingly, have an English goalscorer to rival Spurs’ talisman Harry Kane this season. Raheem Sterling is the most improved of those England squad hopefuls, and should he continue to find the net on as regular a basis as he is at the moment, he will be a shoo-in starter for England.

The stats are staggering. In 2015/16, Sterling was involved in eight goals, scoring six and assisting two, 13 in 2016/17 (seven goals and six assists) and has been involved in 12 already this season.

Sterling’s nine goals and three assists means he is involved in a City league goal at least once every 90 minutes. Late goals have been Sterling’s forte. Three of his strikes have turned one point into three, with practically the last kick of the game against Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Southampton.

After getting over his August hoodoo, Tottenham’s own sharpshooter Kane is once again the top goalscoring Englishman, with only Mohamed Salah more prolific in the Premier League this season.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-MAN CITY

Something that Spurs have been able to rely on is the England hitman not just scoring once, but following one strike with another. While Sterling is good for a late strike, Kane has a penchant for a brace, having netted a double four times already in the league.

“He's a great striker, his mentality is fantastic, he's so humble. I think, yes, I am in love with him!,” Mauricio Pochettino eulogised after Kane scored twice in Spurs’ 3-2 win at West Ham. Sometimes, the most crucial games bring out the best in Kane.

Further back, one prolific attacker hasn’t quite replicated his form of last season. Dele Alli, who was the top scoring midfielder with 18 league goals last season, has struggled this campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City - Premier League

Having hit the target in over half of his efforts at goal last season, less than a third of Alli’s strikes have at least tested the opposition goalkeeper this season, meaning he has found the net just three times in the Premier League to date.

However, Alli reserved his very best for City matches last season, scoring three times in fixtures between the pair in 2016/17. His two expertly-taken headers in the home victory over City inflicted a first Premier League defeat on Pep Guardiola.

Further back in central midfield, Tottenham certainly have the edge. Harry Winks has been nothing short of a revelation since finally breaking into the first team this season. Even the might of Real Madrid didn’t phase the impressive 21-year-old.

Eric Dier has proven to be as adept at centre-back as he has in central midfield, which is very useful in a Spurs squad that can look a little low on resources at times.

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City - Premier League

Defence, if you include Dier, is where City and Tottenham can really go toe-to-toe. John Stones has overcome much criticism to start to justify the hefty price tag hanging over him, and become a key figure in Guardiola’s side.

Much has been made of Pep's desire to play out from the back, but in Stones, he has found a capable first-pass defender

Dier and Stones have completed almost exactly the same amount of passes, but Dier has lost possession more than four times as often as Guardiola’s libero at the back. After some shaky moments last campaign, Stones is yet to make a error leading to a shot in the Premier League.

Dier leads the way in terms of interceptions, blocks and recoveries, but that passing stat is what will please possession-obsessed Guardiola most.

Manchester City v Feyenoord - UEFA Champions League

On the face of it, a clash between Tottenham and City should see two former team-mates who were so devastating together last season face off, but the form of Kieran Trippier means he could well have a big say at the Etihad. Kyle Walker and Danny Rose gave Spurs a different dimension last season, often operating like wingers to stretch opponents to devastating effect.

Now, Walker has moved north, and helped give City that alternative option in attack, but Trippier has shown Walker how it is done. Welsh team-mate Ben Davies is the only defender in the Premier League who has created more chances than Trippier, while the Tottenham full-back has provided substantially more crosses than Walker.

Crucially, though, Walker and Trippier have both provided four assists, possible due to the array of targets Walker has ahead of him. However, with Kane firing, Trippier’s plentiful crosses have a good chance of being converted.

Rose’s injury problems see him lag well behind, while Fabian Delph deserves an honourable mention for his performances out of position as a wing-back.

With Sterling’s surprising potency, Trippier’s efforts to fill Walker’s boots and then some, and John Stones’ edge over Eric Dier, Englishmen are going to have a major say in this titanic tussle. Who will come out on top? Tottenham have the numbers, but the resurgence of City’s Englishmen cannot be downplayed.

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Topics:
Eric Dier
Raheem Sterling
John Stones
Danny Rose
Kyle Walker
Football
Kieran Trippier
Fabian Delph

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