Wigan have become something of a bogey team to City. Since arriving in the Premiership, the blues have only drawn twice and lost at Wigan and it is a record The Latics will want to maintain.
But they haven’t had the best of starts to their campaign so far. A heavy opening day defeat at home to relegation favourites Blackpool (0-4) was followed by a heavier loss at home to Chelsea (0-6). Following these results, a cup upset away to Hartlepool was very much on the cards, but Wigan negotiated their way through it with a comfortable 3-0 win.
This was followed by their first Premiership points of the season, courtesy of a 1-0 win at Spurs but it took an equaliser three minutes from time to secure a point at home to Sunderland.
Manager – Roberto Martinez
The Spaniard is in his second year at the DW Stadium since taking over from Steve Bruce. Martinez started his managerial career at Swansea and has only been in management for two years.
Ground – DW Stadium
Formerly the JJB Stadium, The DW Stadium is named after Wigan’s current club sponsors DW Sports Fitness. It has been Wigan’s home since 1999 when the club moved form the old Springfield Park ground.
Wigan share the stadium with Rugby League side Wigan Warriors. Its current capacity is 25,138.
City face Wigan at the DW Stadium on Sunday with only a solitary win under their belts in Lancashire. There haven’t been many games between the two so stats are few and far between but we’ve done our best.
The blues last win at Wigan was in October 1998 when Shaun Goater scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win. Goater later went on to score the winner in the second leg of the play-offs to send City to Wembley.
But since that season, City have failed to win in six visits and the closest the blues have come is with two 1-1 draws in December 2007, where Geovanni scored in the first few seconds of the game, and October 2009 where a Martin Petrov equaliser secured a point.
So Wigan have a slender advantage over the blues in Premiership encounters but recent form will count as City aim to gain their first away win of the season and their second in total in the Premier League.
Wigan v City Match Facts
Considering the blues have only won once at Wigan, it comes as no surprise that their biggest win was 1-0.
The heaviest defeat came in October 2006 when City lost 4-0. The blues found themselves two goals down within a few minutes of the games starting.
The two teams have met three times in the FA Cup and City have won all of them.
The very first meeting between these two sides was as far back as 1898 in the FA Cup when City won 1-0.
It would be another 73 years before they met again and it was also in the FA Cup. Colin Bell scoring the only goal.
Former City and Wigan Players
After trawling through archives, the only player that I could come up with having played for both sides was Antoine Sibierski. If anyone knows any more, please let me know.
After Mancini’s comments prior to this fixture about his side needing a few weeks to gain fitness and to build the players into a team rather than individuals, I sort of saw this type of performance coming against a strong Spurs side. We came up against the exact same side that gained qualification into Europe’s prestige competition and I can see the reason Redknapp isn’t massively concerned about not adding to his squad yet as his side were full of confidence after breaking the top four ahead of us last season.
Tottenham were quite dominant in the first 45 minutes and if it hadn’t been for the heroics of England’s number one goalkeeper, Joe Hart, City would have been down and out in this game at half time. The most impressive save of all was a brilliant reaction save to deny a volley from Defoe and that was followed by Huddlestone and Assou-Ekotto finding Hart in no mood to concede a goal after being chosen to start the game ahead of Shay Given. After a performance like this from Joe Hart, he will be an almost certainty to retain his position in goal for the first home game of the season against Liverpool.
For every good performance, someone is not going to have the best of days and today that poor performance came from Micah Richards, who had a torrid afternoon up against the impressive Gareth Bale. The Welshmen constantly cause Richards problems with his directness and simply outstanding delivery into areas of danger in the City box. Richards defensive abilities against the best left sided midfielders came into question today and his inconsistent performances will be a cause for concern for Mancini.
I was also impressed with Kolo Toure and Vincent Kompany at the heart of the City defence this afternoon after coming under intense pressure from the Tottenham forwards. Both centre halves were strong, resilient and dependable during the 90 minutes. These 3 factors were highlighted in Kompany’s last ditch tackle on Pavlyuchenko, just as the Russian forward looked likely to snatch three points for the north Londoners. I have always had concerns about Toure being good enough and personally preferred the partnership of Lescott and Kompany, but if Toure can provide more performances like today, he could be vital for us this season.
Out of the 4 new signings, I was most looking forward to seeing how Yaya Toure would fare in a tough Premier league encounter and he did not disappoint. He showed the qualities of Patrick Vieira in his prime, assured with his passing, strong in the tackle and a colossus in the centre of the midfield. With most people stating that he would be used as a defensive midfielder, I was pleasantly surprised to see him get forward as much as he could and one lofted pass in particular put Shaun Wright-Phillips clean through on goal, but the fans favourite hesitated with the ball on his left foot and was dispossessed.
A concern in regards to the tactics deployed by Mancini today was the three forward players, Silva, Tevez and Wright-Phillips. All three players looked to drift around the front line and whenever one of them got into a crossing position, there was no one in the middle who looked to get onto the delivery. I believe the game was crying out for a central striker like Adebayor to benefit from this tactic and I think only giving the tall striker ten minutes to try and get us a goal was not enough.
Finally, there seemed to be a problem with the players communicating with each other in today’s game as on many occasions, the City players were unaware of an advancing Tottenham player and needed a shout from a team mate of “man on!” Without this call, there were plenty of occasions when we lost the ball because of a lack of communication between the team.
Overall, I am happy with a point, which is an improvement on last season’s defeat. I think there were plenty of positives to take from the game and a few things that need to be worked on to make us into a better side. Like Mancini said give this side a few weeks to get to know each other and to become a team and we will be ready to dare I say it, be successful!
The question of who would start in goal was answered as Joe Hart beat Shay Given to the Number One position and produced an outstanding display to keep the blues in the game in the first half and secure their first point of the season.
Hart made three excellent saves from Jermain Defoe, Tom Huddlestone and Benoit Assou-Ekotto as Spurs threatened to kick City’s new look squad out of sight in the Premiership opener. Spurs Gareth Bale also hit the post during a first half of dominance for the home side.
The match was eagerly anticipated following the penultimate game of last season when Spurs beat City at Eastlands to secure a fourth place finish and the home side were looking to continue their fine record against City which had seen them win the last seven games at White Hart Lane.
City gave debuts to Yaya Toure, David Silva and Aleksander Kolarov, but they couldn’t stem the tide that threatened to sweep the blues away in the first half.
Defoe, who is always a threat in the Spurs front line, brought Hart’s first save of the game as the young City keeper dived to his left to keep the shot out. Huddlestone then hit a volley, which produced another good save while Hart saved the best until last with a brilliant stop to deny Assou-Ekotto top corner bound shot.
Bale then hit the post shortly after being denied a penalty following a challenge with Micah Richards and the follow up was cleared of the line by apparent Arsenal target Vincent Kompany.
City gained some shape following the break and Yaya began to find some form. The new signing looped a ball over the top of the Spurs defence for Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was brilliantly tackled be the impressive Assou-Ekotto. Fellow new boy Silva saw his shot blocked by Ledley King following another good ball from Yaya, while last season’s top scorer Carlos Tevez shot was deflected agonisingly over the bar.
Spurs substitute Roman Pavlychenko had another couple of chances to win the game for Spurs but Hart was equal to the test as City held on for a point and finally ended their run of defeats at White Hart Lane.
What do you think? Were City lucky to escape or did we deserve the point? Let us know your thoughts on the game.
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
Saturday 14th August 2010
Revenge is a dish that is best served cold and City will be hoping to serve up their own, special recipe when they visit White Hart lane for the season opener.
It was Spurs who ended City’s bid for a fourth place finish when Peter Crouch scored to give them a 1-0 win at Eastlands in May but the blues will be confident of taking something from North London.
City have again invested heavily in the transfer market and will be looking to new signings Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Aleksander Kolarov to push City into the promised land of the top four and Champions League qualification.
Spurs will get a taste of what City want with a qualifying game against Swiss side Young Boys and have been linked with a host of City names over the summer, most notably Craig Bellamy, Stephen Ireland and Micah Richards.
Key Opponent – Jermain Defoe
The striker scored England’s goal in the win over Slovenia in the World Cup and is one of the most dangerous strikers around. City will need to keep him quiet if they are to take anything from North London.
City have an embarrassment of riches to choose from but the big question will be who he chooses between the sticks with Joe Hart challenging the fit again Shay Given. New signings Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Aleksander Kolarov are expected to make their debuts while Mario Balotelli will miss the game.
Spurs have injury problems with Jonathon Woodgate, Jamie O’Hara and David Bentley all missing the game.
Referee: Andre Mariner
Assistants: Phil Sharp & Andy Newbold
Fourth Official: Peter Walton
OTBM Match Predictions
I am going for a stalemate in Saturday’s opener. I think both teams will attack and defend equally well so I’m going for a 2-2 draw.
Columnist Brian Roban
Like many city fans I’m excited and nervous about the early Saturday and first match of the 10/11 season. Last season Spurs did the double on us and the home game putting the coffin nail into forth place and champions league spot. This been fresh in the players mind and being the first game of the new campaign I believe City will go all out to shake off the ghost of Christmas past and show the anti city critics what is in store for the future. Spurs are no easy task at White Hart Lane, Harry has built and moulded a strong midfield and defence and with so many attacking options which we seen at Eastlands, every long ball Given drove up a Spurs player was there on it. If City can keep control of the midfield we certainly have the fire power up front to the damage.
While my heart and dreams at night tells Me City will win 4-0, my brain says Rodney Marsh’s prediction of a 1-1 draw could be nearer the result. Going down to London I’m sure Mancini may well take a draw where it offered before kick off as he knows Tottenham are a force to be reckoned with. All that been said City have the players now. The players and city fans alike need the belief that it can and will be done. Last season was a roller coaster of a ride at times but City were up there and this season with the new signings helping in the quality and depth of the squad it can spur ( excuse the pun ) us on to that coveted top 4 spot, and who knows but sure dreamt about a serious run at the title.
Brian’s Prediction: 1-1
Columnist Callum Rothwell
I think the game will be very tough, I think Tottenham will be up for it, but both teams have a lot to lose. This game could decide 4th place already, and so a defeat for either team will be devastating. I think Tottenham will start off the better side, but we’ll get back into it towards the end of the first half, and snatch a 1-0 lead through Adebayor. Then I think the game will be more open in the second half, but City too strong and win 2-0, the other through Yaya Toure.
Callum’s Prediction: A 2-0 win for City
Columnist Jake Hartley
The hugely anticipated opening clash with Tottenham is just days away after a long wait. I feel the game is going to be quite close as neither side will want to lose the opening fixture of the season. For City to win, I think a lot will depend on the fitness of the players returning from international duties and also if the new additions will fit comfortable into the premier league game. Personally, I would be happy with a draw, but if we want to be fighting to break into the champion’s league then to sneak a win would be great so early on in the season.
Jake’s Prediction – Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 1 Manchester City (Emmanuel Adebayor)
OTBM Regular Contributor Doe
This is a huge game for us considering how we lost out on 4th place to them last season, I expect nothing less than a 1-1 draw. But just like any blue, I’m completely aware and willing to be bias and predict a 1-2 win for city. No doubt there will be goals in this one; it’s just Harry’s style. The enigma is really how city will come out and play and I hope that will raise a few eyebrows.
Doe’s Prediction: A 2-1 win for City
OTBM Regular Contributor Real Mancs Are Blue
I predict a win for Tottenham. Our record against the Spuds is poor to say the least; in fact we have lost more time to them than any other club since the premiership began.
Combine the facts we will be fielding a team that has barely played together, Carlos Tevez once again whinging that he isn’t enjoying football and a defence that has barely played against premier league opposition, its going to be a tough game.
The battle worth watching will be Kolorov Vs Aaron Lennon, it will certainly give an indication of how well Kolorov will fair this season.
RMAB’s Prediction: I predict Tottenham to win 2-0
What do you think? Agree with our predictions or have one of your own? Let us know your thoughts.
In fact, as well as Fantasy Football, let’s start a predictions league. 3 points for a spot on score, one for the correct result but incorrect score. We’ll work out a league table somehow. All predictions must be received 5 minutes prior to kick off.
Spurs will still be on a high following their fourth place finish last season and will now be looking up the table and try to finish above their neighbours Arsenal.
With fourth place comes a European qualifying game against Swiss side Young Boys and Spurs will be confident of progressing to the lucrative group stage. Much of their season will depend on their progress in the Champions League but if they can keep the form that led them to fourth place, a top four finish shouldn’t be out of the question by next May.
Spurs have been linked to City’s Craig Bellamy but the blues are reluctant to sell the striker to their main rivals and the Londoners have also been linked to a possible swoop for Micah Richards or Stephen Ireland but all have failed to materialise.
Manager – Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp will have dried himself off after he was drenched by the Spurs team following their win at Eastlands last season. The former Portsmouth manager has been in charge at White Hart Lane since 2008 when he replaced Juande Ramos. Redknapp is one of the luckiest manager’s around, boasting for pop star Louise Redknapp as his daughter in law.
In his playing days, Redknapp played in the West Ham midfield for eight years, before playing for Bournemouth and Brentford before ending his career in America with the Seattle Sounders.
His managerial career started at Bournemouth where he spent nine years before being named as West Ham manager. After seven years at Upton Park, Redknapp joined Portsmouth before leaving for Southampton two years later. A year after that, he realised the error of his ways and rejoined Portsmouth before Spurs came calling.
Ground – White Hart Lane
White Hart Lane has been Spurs home sine 1899 and has a current capacity of around 36,000 but there are plans to develop the site rather than move from White Hart Lane.
Former City and Spurs Players
There doesn’t seem to have been many players that have worn the white of Spurs and the blue of City. Here are a few that I could find.
The blues take on Spurs at White Hart Lane trying to improve on their dismal record in North London.
City have only won once at White Hart Lane in the Premiership and that came courtesy of a 2-0 win in April 2003, with David Sommeil and Joey Barton both getting on the scoresheet.
Since then, City have lost seven of the following eight visits there with the only point coming in April 2004 when Nicolas Anelka scored to give City a share of the spoils. The only other joy the blues have achieved in North London was coming from 3-0 down to beat Spurs 4-3 in the 4th round of the FA Cup in February 2004.
City fared no better in the days before the Premiership, losing 21 of the 46 games played at the Lane and winning on just 12 occasions.
City’s record at White Hart Lane
|First Division (Old)||46||12||13||21||59||83|
|Second Division (Old)||2||1||1||0||3||2|
|First Division (New)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Second Division (New)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
City’s biggest league win at White Hart Lane came in February 1979 when Brian Kidd, Peter Barnes and Mick Channon scored in a 3-0 win.
However, the blues have twice lost 5-1 in London in April 1934 and February 1958.
City’s longest unbeaten run at White Hart Lane is seven games January 1972 and February 1979. During these years, City won four and drew three.
Rather Meaningless Facts
City failed to score at White Hart Lane last season, the first time they have done that since September 2000.
The last time City did the double over Spurs was in the 1991/92 season. Niall Quinn grabbed the winner at The Lane, while David White secured the points at Maine Road. Both games ended 1-0.
The last time City and Spurs met on the opening day was at White Hart Lane in August 1990. That game also followed an England’s World Cup exit at Germany’s hands. The score on that day? Spurs 3-1 City
It was August 2005. City’s prized asset Shaun Wright-Phillips had just moved to Chelsea for a record incoming fee of £21m and City had replaced him with the ageing Andy Cole and the lightning fast yet erratic Darius Vassell.
The blues had made a decent start to the season, with one draw and a win while Sunderland had lost their opening two games and it already looked like being a long, hard season for the Black Cats.
The blues took the lead after just ten minutes through Vassell, who never lost a game in which he scored for City. Future bad-boy Joey Barton played a superb ball to Vassell who slotted past Kelvin Davis to score his first gaol for the blues. It had been coming as the blues had dominated the opening exchanges, with Cole forcing Davis into a third minute save.
Sunderland’s French striker Anthony Le Tallec then had a golden opportunity to level on 22 minutes but fired straight at David James in the City goal. Minutes later, the same man opted to head a cross that would have been easier to kick as it was so close to the ground. Had he opted to use his foot it would almost certainly have meant a Sunderland equaliser.
His mistake was compounded ten minutes later when Trevor Sinclair made it 2-0 with a fine curling strike with his right foot which eluded Davis and sent the visiting City fans dreaming of a place at the top of the table by 4.45 that afternoon.
But, in true style, City allowed the home side back into the game and leave the fans on tenterhooks, Le Tallec heading above Richard Dunne to pull a goal back.
Half Time: Sunderland 1-2 City
The blues should have scored a third after the interval after Sinclair played in Cole but Davis was again equal to it and made another fine save.
Sunderland pushed forward in search of an equaliser and Julien Arca had a free-kick brilliantly tipped away by James while Jonathan Stead threw away the chance to score his first Sunderland goal after failing to connect at the near post.
Dean Whitehead had Sunderland’s final chance to equalise but his header flew narrowly wide as Sunderland pressed the blues.
In the end, it was another defeat for Mick McCarthy but Stuart Pearce’s first full season as City manager had got off to a flying start.
Full Time: Sunderland 1-2 City
Sunderland: Davis, Nosworthy, Stubbs, Breen, Arca, Whitehead, Miller, Welsh, Elliott, Gray (Stead 45), Le Tallec (Lawrence 82).
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Caldwell, Joe Murphy.
Man City: James, Mills, Dunne, Jordan (Onuoha 75), Thatcher, Sinclair, Barton, Reyna, Musampa (Jihai 80), Cole, Vassell.
Subs Not Used: De Vlieger, Sibierski, Wright-Phillips.
City visit Sunderland on Sunday with a pretty impressive recent record against the Black Cats both home and away.
Since losing their first Premiership meeting at the Stadium of Light in December 2003, City have won the following eight games, scoring 21 times and conceding only three goals during that period. 10 of those goals have been at the Stadium of Light.
But it is in the old First division that the majority of meetings have taken place and from the 50 league games played at Sunderland, City have only walked away with maximum points on 12 occasions. But goal scoring wasn’t a problem as City scored 72 times to Sunderland’s 95.
In all the various league guises, the two teams have met a total of 58 times at Sunderland, with the blues winning just 17 to Sunderland’s 31. They have met five times in the FA Cup at Sunderland, with both sides winning two games with one draw, while only one League Cup meeting has taken place at Sunderland with the home side winning it 1-0.
City’s Record At Sunderland
|First Division (Old)||50||12||10||28||72||95|
|Second Division (Old)||2||1||0||1||4||4|
|First Division (New)||1||0||0||1||1||3|
|Second Division (New||0||0||0||0||0||0|
The blues were the first competitive visitors to the Stadium of Light. They were also the first team to lose there as Sunderland won 3-1
The first game between the two took place at Hyde Road in December 1899. City won 2-1.
But City had to wait until September 1907 for their first win at Roker Park but it was worth it. The blues ran out 5-2 winners, which is still City’s biggest win at Sunderland.
Their heaviest defeat at Sunderland was also by the same scoreline in September 1929.
The lowest ever attendance for a match between the two at Sunderland was just a paltry 6,000 in April 1900.
Sunderland’s biggest attendance for a home game against the blues came during an FA Cup 5th Round replay in February 1973. 51,782 witnessed the Black Cats win 3-1, Francis Lee scoring City’s only goal.
Other Sunderland Related Stuff
It was against the Black Cats that City scored their final goal at Maine Road, scored by the late Marc-Vivien Foe.
It will be exactly 21 years since City’s last win at Roker Park. David White scored two goals in a 4-2 win, one of which coming direct from a corner. Nigel Gleghorn and Trevor Morley got the others.
The Stadium of Light got its name due to the fact that the ground was built on the old Wearmouth colliery. The ‘light’ part refers to a miner’s lamp as many Sunderland fans used to work in the mines in the area.
Sunderland nicknames have been, amongst others, the Rokerites or the Rokermen as well as the Black Cats. In 1997, a vote was cast to decide on a permanent nickname and Black Cats won it.