Preview: Tottenham vs Man City – How does Mauricio Pochettino’s record compare with the top 4?

The 2017-18 Premier League top four consisted of Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

All four teams kept their managers, whilst fifth place Chelsea, and Arsenal below them, both made changes over the summer.

Many fans of Manchester United would like to see the back of José Mourinho, though the manager does still remain quite popular inside the ground during matches. Notably, his name being chanted around Old Trafford following their recent come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Newcastle United.

Manchester City fans are, of course, delighted with Pep Guardiola’s performances, currently joint top of the Premier League after running away with it last season.

As for Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, whilst both sets of fans are excited for their performances of late, particularly the Reds, who reached the Champions League final last season, and are currently tied on points with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, both will be looking for silverware this season.

Jürgen Klopp is in his fourth season in charge at Anfield and has yet to win a trophy. As well as finishing as runner-up in last season’s Champions League final, the German coach has also guided the club to Europa League and EFL Cup finals, without any success.

The Merseyside club invested heavily over the summer with the £62 million signing of goalkeeper Alisson from AS Roma, £52 million spent on energetic midfielder Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig, £39 million on holding midfielder Fabinho, and a further £13.5m on Xherdan Shaqiri from relegated Stoke City.

This after spending a whopping £75 million on centre-back Virgil van Dijk back in January.

Silverware is the key for Klopp this season, and his side are neck-and-neck with Manchester City after eight games, and have beaten Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League group stage already.

However, the Reds have already been eliminated from this season’s EFL Cup. Albeit, arguably, their lowest priority.

As for Tottenham Hotspur, they’ve played some excellent football under Mauricio Pochettino, and qualified for the Champions League for a third consecutive season under the Argentine coach.

However, the funding of their new stadium prevented Pochettino from being able to invest in any new players this past summer. Keeping Manchester United’s hands off Toby Alderweireld appeared to be their biggest success.

Spurs fans may argue that Lucas Moura is close to a new signing as the Brazilian only arrived in January, making just two starts and a further four substitute appearances in the Premier League during the second half of the campaign.

The 26-year-old made an impressive start to this campaign, which included a goal in the 3-1 victory at Fulham and a brace in the 3-0 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford. Lucas has been quiet over the past couple of games though.

Of the four managers mentioned in this article, Mauricio Pochettino has been at his current side the longest, and like Klopp, is yet to lift any silverware.

There is a perception that Pochettino doesn’t match up well against the top managers. However, his record over the past four seasons would say otherwise.

The former Southampton and Espanyol man has already taken three points from two games versus last season’s top four, and he even took a maximum six points off Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Spaniard’s first season in English football.

Pochettino has taken 42% of the possible points available versus teams who finished in the top four of the respective seasons. This is actually better than Pep Guardiola, who sits at 38%, due to a terrible first season in charge.

It is Liverpool’s Klopp who leads the way among the top four – taking 54% of the possible points available on offer versus fellow top four teams, during his time in charge at the Premier League giants.

José Mourinho is actually tied with Pochettino on 42%, during his time at Manchester United. The full table is as follows:

Manager Club Points taken against top 4
Jürgen Klopp Liverpool 54%
José Mourinho Manchester United 42%
Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham Hotspur 42%
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 38%

The next meeting between two of last season’s top four comes at Wembley Stadium on Monday 29th October when Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City in the Premier League.

Spurs are down in fifth place but only two points behind the joint leaders after nine matches. The North London club defeated West Ham straight after the international break whilst City beat Burnley.

Manchester City are then in Ukraine on Tuesday 23rd to face Shakhtar Donetsk in a game they could do with winning, before Tottenham have the short trip to PSV Eindhoven the following evening.

This match offers Mauricio Pochettino and his side the opportunity to make a statement by taking three points off last season’s champions. However, the bookmakers are heavily favouring Guardiola’s side with odds currently 4/5 on an away win available to those betting online.

Manchester City were 3-1 winners in this fixture last season back in April, having won 4-1 at the Etihad in December.

Heading into this season’s first meeting between the two clubs, Manchester City could be without Kevin De Bruyne for the trip to Wembley. The Belgian star is yet to overcome an injury that has prevented the playmaker from featuring all season.

However, the Citizens have goals from all over the field. Sergio Agüero is the club’s top Premier League scorer so far this season with six goals, followed by Raheem Sterling on four. Bernardo Silva is seeing a lot more playing time in De Bruyne’s absence and has chipped in with three goals so far this season, the same tally as Riyad Mahrez.

During their 0-0 draw at Liverpool before the international break, City were able to welcome back Benjamin Mendy. The left-back bombs forward so much that he’s essentially a left winger and provides lots of assists from out wide.

As for Spurs, Harry Kane leads the way on five goals but only Lucas Moura (3) and Érik Lamela (2) have scored more than once in the Premier League so far this season. Dele Alli hasn’t been fit all season and so far only has a sole goal. Christian Eriksen has two assists in his six league appearances but is yet to get on the scoresheet.

It promises to be an intriguing battle to end the month of October but Mauricio Pochettino could really do with a result in this match and ultimately, bringing home some silverware this season.

 

 

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