How Mauricio Pochettino can use Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to beat Man City

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Tottenham‘s new stadium will get its first taste of Champions League football when Manchester City arrive on Tuesday night for the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Encounters between the two sides have often produced fascinating tactical battles and this one should be no different.

Here, we look at the key tactics Mauricio Pochettino may employ to get the better of Pep Guardiola.

Click here for City’s key tactics.

HIGH PRESS

Pochettino will set up and encourage his side to press City’s back-line as he always does, restricting their freedom to carefully construct attacks while increasing the possibility of a turnover in the final third. Liverpool and Lyon are among the teams to have enjoyed some success by adopting that game plan against City this season. A 3-4-3 led by Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min may facilitate the strategy.

While the trio puts the back-line under pressure, Christian Eriksen will be tasked with stepping up to cancel out Fernandinho as an out ball. If City do penetrate the initial press, the Dane could then sit alongside Moussa Sissoko in midfield with Alli dropping back to ensure Fernandinho’s time on the ball is limited.

ATTACK DOWN THE LEFT

Kyle Walker has often doubled up as a third centre-back for City this season so they aren’t caught out in the transition but with the Englishman likely to miss out with a hamstring injury, that may be an area of weakness for Spurs to exploit. Son could be the perfect man to take advantage, setting off on a run down the left as soon as his possession is won to attack Danilo.

The first step though would be to find Kane, who’s grown proficient at dropping deep to receive the ball. The skipper can act as a springboard, launching an attack by playing in the South Korean for an opportunity on goal or at least the chance to square up against a centre-back.

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How Man City's intelligent movement in the final third can disrupt Tottenham's defence

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Tottenham‘s new stadium will get its first taste of Champions League football when Manchester City arrive on Tuesday night for the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Encounters between the two sides have often produced fascinating tactical battles and this one should be no different.

Here, we look at the key tactics Pep Guardiola may employ to get the better of Mauricio Pochettino.

Click here for Tottenham’s key tactics.

BYPASSING THE PRESS

Tottenham will attempt to use a high-press against City but Guardiola has found ways to bypass that previously. Spurs are well organised and can press City’s back-line with a level of sophistication but Ederson is one of the best keepers with the ball at his feet.

The Brazilian custodian is capable of negating the press with his array of long passes which he usually hits with unerring accuracy.

That’s precisely what happened when Spurs visited the Etihad last season. The full-backs will hug the touchline to provide options but Ederson isn’t afraid to fizz passes into a free central midfielder, possibly even initiating an attack in the process.

MANIPULATING THE DEFENCE

Where a Guardiola team often excels over other possession-heavy sides is movement in the final third. While Spurs’ three-man central defence is meant to help cope with City’s various attackers, it presents the opportunity for Guardiola’s side to disrupt the defensive line.

Sergio Aguero is notorious for dragging a centre-back along with him when showing for the ball, allowing Raheem Sterling to run in behind.

Meanwhile, the Englishman has increasingly popped up in central areas over the last couple of seasons and even if Benjamin Mendy doesn’t play, David Silva still makes runs down the outside to scramble the back-line and that inevitably creates space to run behind with one of the defenders often playing an attacker onside.

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Cristiano Ronaldo fitness and Man City quadruple charge among Champions League talking points

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The first legs of the Champions League quarter-finals take place this week. Here, Press Association Sport looks at some talking points ahead of the games.

UNITED’S BARCA CHALLENGE

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United pulled off a shock to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the last round and it was probably that result that clinched the manager’s job full time for the Norwegian.

Performances since have tailed off slightly and the challenge ahead of them as they face Barcelona and, of course, Lionel Messi, is huge.

Barca are closing in on an eighth La Liga title in 11 years and will be keen to make the most of Real Madrid’s elimination from the Champions League.

CITY’S QUADRUPLE PUSH

pep guardiola

Manchester City are the favourites for the Champions League and with good reason given their sustained excellence in four competitions this season.

Manager Pep Guardiola described the quadruple as “almost impossible” at the weekend but it is actually far from inconceivable.

The Champions League has been the one hurdle they have consistently failed to clear, however. Guardiola has often referred to a lack of experience on the European stage for that, although that may not be relevant in this round as they face a Premier League rival in Tottenham.

ALL-ENGLISH CLASH

City’s tie with Spurs is an enticing one, starting with the first leg at the London club’s new stadium on Tuesday. City’s superiority is evident in the 16-point gap between the two sides – from second to third – in the Premier League but a big domestic advantage counted for nothing when they faced Liverpool at the same stage last year.

Then City lost 3-0 in the first leg at a fevered Anfield. Spurs will hope the atmosphere at their new stadium will work in their favour, although Kevin De Bruyne has dismissed it. “I don’t care about the stadium,” he said.

LIVERPOOL EYEING LAST FOUR AGAIN

Last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool may fancy their chances of reaching the last four again after being drawn against Porto, a side they beat 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie last season.

The Reds’ priority may be the Premier League but defeat here would represent a big missed opportunity. Porto are also without veteran defender Pepe for Tuesday’s first leg at Anfield through suspension.

RONALDO FITNESS

Ronaldo

Five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has been out for the past two weeks with a thigh injury but is expected to return for Juventus’ clash with Ajax.

Manager Massimiliano Allegri took no risks against AC Milan at the weekend, holding the Portuguese back in a bid to ensure his fitness for Wednesday in Amsterdam. Ronaldo, who has won this competition five times, relishes such occasions.

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