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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New dreams at Tottenham Hotspur face barometer check against rampant Man City

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A first leg strewn with symbolism awaits when Tottenham Hotspur’s bold new era and Manchester City’s relentless quest for historic success collide.

The state-of-the-art, 62,062-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will, belatedly, play host to Champions League football for the first time on Tuesday night. Much-delayed and over budget, yet this all-English quarter-final clash featuring an array of the game’s modern greats provides a fitting forum.

Spurs’ ambitions for the future are laid bare by an avant-garde setting. City, however, live in the present.

A berth in the FA Cup’s showpiece was secured on Saturday at their imminent opponents’ temporary home of Wembley. With the League Cup already secured and the destiny of the Premier League’s title under their control, attention now centres on continental aspirations.

NEW HOME, NEW GOALS?

An electrified atmosphere is guaranteed under 324 LED floodlights when the combatants emerge.

For the cohort clad in white, this moment symbolises the realisation of a dream sold to the likes of manager Mauricio Pochettino and superstar striker Harry Kane.

Until Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu and Barcelona’s Camp Nou are extensively renovated, they will be stepping out at a hyper-modern ground without compare. With the creation of a ‘wall of sound’ also built into the architects Populous’ innovative design, partisan support will urge them on.

Sparkling stadia does not usually equate to an instant improvement of results. BBC Sport research showed that of the four Premier League teams to move since 2000, only north London rivals Arsenal had a better points total than the season before.

In Europe, Atletico Madrid lost 2-1 to Chelsea in September 2017 for the Wanda Metropolitano’s Champions League inauguration. This same stands, however, would witness a 3-0 Europa League final triumph against Marseille by the hosts come the following May.

Spurs’ only run-out, to date, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was an expected 2-0 win against Crystal Palace. Pochettino’s inspired troops, however, pumped in 26 attempts and a commanding 66-per-cent possession.

Spurs are nearly 20 points off the searing top-flight pace set by City and Liverpool.

They have only ever made one European Cup semi-final – and that was in 1961/62. Their last run to the quarters in 2010/11 ended in a 5-0 aggregate shellacking by Real Madrid.

The potential to take giant strides is there for all to see. Now, it requires actualisation.

There would be no grander way to start than derailing omnipotent City.

WILL WE SEE A BATTLE OF THE STRIKERS?

A familiar face has been witnessed at an unfamiliar setting.

Sergio Aguero has trained with team-mates at Charlton Athletic’s stadium, The Valley, after he missed the last two games because of injury.

His likely return to the XI should provide head coach Pep Guardiola with a welcome problem. The Argentina international’s 10 goals in 13 previous meetings will also send shivers down spines in the Spurs defence.

By reputation, the Blues’ rearguard should feel the same way about Kane. But with only two goals in seven fixtures against them, French centre-back Aymeric Laporte and company may feel quietly confident.

SEND OUT A MESSAGE

Barbs to attack City with rarely hold weight.

When you are recasting expectations, while performing at a rarefied level, jealousy is a predictable by-product.

Slights have been sent their way because of perceived easy cup runs this term. A point that should be rendered mute by Premier League form, but one that requires addressing nevertheless.

In Europe, the recovery from a 2-1 opening loss to Lyon has been staggering. The 10-2, round-of-16 humiliation of – admitted Bundesliga stragglers – Schalke was the second-widest winning margin in the competition’s knockout history.

A catalyst is now required to entrench the view that City – whose only semi appearance came in 2014/15 under Manuel Pellegrini – are coming of age in the UCL. Seeing off Spurs will send out a firm message to the likes of Juventus and Barcelona.

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