Former England striker Alan Shearer thinks Manchester City impressive recent form makes them the firm favourites to overcome Tottenham in the Champions League.
The TV pundit also thinks the strength in depth manager Pep Guardiola possesses in all positions on the pitch means their packed fixture schedule is not a disadvantage:
“City are still the strong favourites to go through over two legs. Yes, Tottenham have just had a weekend off while City had a hard-fought win over Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday night.”
“But I do not see that making any difference to tomorrow night’s proceedings because Pep Guardiola has got a bigger squad than anyone.”
“If Sergio Aguero is still out, they have got Gabriel Jesus — their FA Cup match-winner at the weekend. If Aleks Zinchenko is missing, they have now got Benjamin Mendy back from injury.”
“They have strength in every position and their form right now is frightening, winning 22 of their last 23 games in all competitions.”
It will be just the second game that Spurs have played at their new ground. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium holds 62,000 and the atmosphere for a European match is an unknown quantity.
Shearer believes Mauricio Pochettino’s side will have to start the match at high intensity, much like when Liverpool won 3-0 in their first leg of the quarter-final last season.
Guardiola has, though, shown flexibility in his approach away from home this campaign, and may not play as open as City did during that disappointing first-leg defeat to the Reds.
City may, however, see it as an opportunity to put the tie to bed in the first game, but we shall see this evening.