SCORE MORE WIN MORE OFFER
Tottenham got the win they needed in Ryan Mason’s first game against Southampton, courtesy of second-half goals from Gareth Bale and Heung-min Son, even as they left it late to find the winner.
Still, it’s a platform to build from and Man City have shown themselves to be beatable in the past couple of weeks, losing two of their past four outings as they went down to Leeds and Chelsea.
The mood had clearly soured under Jose Mourinho – an increasingly common theme where the Portuguese coach is concerned – and results had been found wanting.
Tottenham had lost nine times in 2021 when including their extra time defeat to Everton in the FA Cup, while the last six games of Mourinho’s reign saw them post a poor W1-D2-L3 record as they crashed limply out of Europe and failed to take advantage of other teams slipping up in the battle for a top four spot in the league.
The hope will be that a change in the dugout will produce an immediate uptick in both results and performances, and that wouldn’t be a surprise given the form of Mourinho’s past clubs after being handed the sack.
Chelsea went on a 12-game unbeaten run back in 2015 in the wake of his departure, while Man Utd won eight on the bounce when he was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
In particular, players that were marginalized will be hungry to deliver and a cup final represents the perfect stage to showcase their qualities.
Heung-min Son To Score Anytime
The likes of Gareth Bale and Dele Alli are the most obvious candidates to start perking up, and the former has past form for delivering in showpiece events – most notably with his sensational goals in the Copa del Rey against Barcelona and his overhead kick against Liverpool in Europe.
Harry Kane is the headline absentee for Spurs, but that doesn’t mean they’re without hope of scoring here.
Looking beyond Bale, Heung-min Son has five goals in his last six appearances against Man City since 2018/19, and the Korean has shown signs of coming to life with two goals in Spurs’ last three outings.
Both Teams To Score
It’s also worth bearing in mind that although Man City have won 29 of 32 matches now, they haven’t triumphed by more than a single goal in any of their last five, while they failed to keep a clean sheet in any of these more recent games.
John Stones is also suspended following his red card against Aston Villa, though his absence shouldn’t prove crucial as the key transformation to City’s defence this season has been the arrival of Ruben Dias.
Spurs + 1 Asian Handicap
The absentee that will hurt Man City is that of Kevin De Bruyne. It’s not as though City don’t have creativity besides the Belgium, but he’s undeniably a key component to their side.
Pep Guardiola will fancy his team’s chances having lifted this trophy in each of the past three campaigns, but this may not be as one-sided as many seem to think.
Only one of the past five finals has been settled by more than a single goal margin, and only three of past 14, while Spurs are W2-D1-L1 in the head to heads since the start of last season.