While Spurs are hoping to end a three-match losing streak, the Citizens are seeking to avoid going three top-flight games without a win for the first time since 2017.
After three weeks at the Premier League summit, reigning champions Man City have since surrendered top spot to Arsenal after playing out successive score draws in their last two league matches with Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Citizens' 23-game winning run at the Etihad is now over after Trent Alexander-Arnold cancelled out Erling Haaland's record-breaking opener with a sweet strike 10 minutes from time to help Liverpool rescue a 1-1 draw last weekend, but Pep Guardiola's men bounced back just three days later in the Champions League.
Indeed, Man City were made to work for all three points in Tuesday's home clash with RB Leipzig as they were trailing by two goals at half time, but Haaland, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez all made the net ripple after the interval to turn the game on its head and ensure that the holders secured top spot in Group G with a game to spare.
Keeping just five cleans sheets in 20 games across all competitions this season will be a cause for concern for Guardiola, but his side have now won 11 of the 15 matches in which they have conceded, showcasing how much they have relied on their exceptional goalscoring proficiency.
Man City, who came from two goals down at half time to beat Tottenham 4-2 on home soil last season, can ill-afford to see their customary high standards slip in their next two top-flight games against Spurs and high-flying Aston Villa if they wish to remain in touching distance with new leaders Arsenal, who currently sit just one point clear of the Citizens in second and are preparing for two favourable fixtures against Wolves and Luton Town.
Since the arrival of Guardiola in 2016, Man City have lost more games to Tottenham (six) than they have against any other opponent, conceding 19 goals in the process – only Liverpool (also 19) have scored as many against the Citizens during this period. However, Man City's home form versus Spurs bodes well ahead of Sunday's clash as they have won nine, drawn two and lost just two of their last 13 league meetings with the Lilywhites at the Etihad.
Tottenham were sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table after 10 games following a somewhat surprising yet exceptional start to the campaign, but November proved to be a month to forget for Ange Postecoglou's side as three consecutive defeats and the loss of several key players through injury has derailed their season.
Chelsea, Wolves and Aston Villa all got the better of a depleted Spurs outfit, who became just the fifth club in Premier League history to lose three games in a row after scoring first when they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to the latter last weekend; Giovani Lo Celso put the Lilywhites in front, but they were made to rue a plethora of missed chances and Villa fought back to claim maximum points courtesy of goals from Pau Torres and Ollie Watkins.
Although Spurs have picked up three points more than they did at this stage last season, their recent dip in form has seen them slip out of the top four and down to fifth place. However, a win on Sunday would help them draw level on points with second-placed Man City, before turning their attention to back-to-back home games with London rivals West Ham United and fellow top-four hopefuls Newcastle United.
David Pleat was the last Tottenham manager to lose four Premier League games in a row in March/April 2004, and while Postecoglou may be working with limited resources, there is reason for Spurs to be optimistic heading into Sunday's showdown at the Etihad considering their recent record against Man City.
Indeed, Tottenham have won five of their last seven Premier League meetings with the Citizens, as many as they managed in their previous 19, including a 3-2 away victory in February last year when Harry Kane netted a dramatic 95th-minute winner – Spurs are one of only two top-flight teams along with Brentford who have claimed maximum points at the Etihad since November 2021.
Man City midfielder Mateo Kovacic has returned to full training after missing the last two games with a thigh injury and he could be selected in the matchday squad, but Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring) remains out and Matheus Nunes (muscle) is a major doubt, while John Stones - who has watched on as an unused substitute in the last two matches since recovering from a muscle problem - will also be assessed ahead of kickoff.
First-choice goalkeeper Ederson is expected to return to the first XI at the expense of Stefan Ortega, while Nathan Ake will hope to replace Josko Gvardiol on the left side of defence; both Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias are set to keep their places in the starting lineup.
Manuel Akanji could start in a hybrid midfield role for the fourth consecutive game alongside Rodri, but there could be changes made further up the pitch as both Alvarez and Jeremy Doku are pushing for recalls at the expense of Rico Lewis and Jack Grealish.
As for Tottenham, their lengthy injury list includes Rodrigo Bentancur (ankle), James Maddison (ankle), Micky van de Ven (hamstring), Richarlison (pelvic), Manor Solomon (knee), Ivan Perisic (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Ashley Phillips (ankle), Alfie Whiteman (ankle) and Pape Matar Sarr (muscle).
Cristian Romero will serve the third and final game of his three-match ban, but Yves Bissouma is available to return from his own suspension and is expected to start in centre-midfield alongside either Lo Celso or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Postecoglou could persist with Emerson Royal and Ben Davies at centre-back ahead of Eric Dier, while Son Heung-min – who has scored six of his eight Premier League goals this season away from home – is set to be supported in attack by Brennan Johnson, Bryan Gil and Dejan Kulusevski, the latter of whom has scored in his last two visits to the Etihad.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake; Akanji, Rodri; Foden, Alvarez, Bernardo, Doku; Haaland
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Porro, Emerson, Davies, Udogie; Bissouma, Lo Celso; Johnson, Kulusevski, Gil; Son
We say: Manchester City 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Another entertaining encounter filled with goalmouth action could be in store on Sunday considering that the last four league meetings between these two teams at the Etihad have produced an average of over four goals per game.
Postecoglou's desire to stick with a high defensive line amid an injury crisis is yet to be vindicated, and persisting with such a tactic this weekend could prove costly against a rampant Man City outfit who have already scored 26 goals across their nine home matches this season.
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