Tottenham vs Man City – tough start awaits Mancini’s men

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Although much has changed over the summer, the clash between Tottenham and Manchester City on this season’s opening day could prove just as influential come May as the fixture between the pair that brought down the curtain of the last campaign.

Peter Crouch’s goal eight minutes from time handed Harry Redknapp’s team a 1-0 win at Eastlands on the penultimate day of last season, guaranteeing Tottenham fourth place and a spot in the Champions League.

However, while Redknapp has avoided his usual wheeler-dealing in the transfer market during the close season, Roberto Mancini has been busy spending £80m on Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Aleksandar Kolarov.

Meanwhile, with Mario Balotelli and James Milner still expected to join, Tottenham can expect a far sterner examination than last season should the team gel as needed.

A top-four finish is the least that is expected at City and they are 5/1 to end the season on top of the Premier League.

Mancini may feel that a strong start and good results against other teams with Champions League aspirations will be imperative if these goals are to be met, which will begin at White Hart Lane.

City only managed to win six of their 19 away games last season and an improvement on this form is a must if they are to challenge for the title.

Carlos Tevez helped himself to 23 goals during the last campaign and he is 6/1 to be the first goalscorer against Tottenham.

Tottenham have won the last four league meetings between the two sides and are 13/10 to make it five in succession.

Jermain Defoe has scored on both of these victories at White Hart Lane and is 9/2 to break the deadlock, while being 6/5 to net at any time inside the 90 minutes.

A cagey game could ensue as both teams are content with a point, with the draw priced at 23/10.

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