Jose Mourinho faces off against old rival Pep Guardiola, Tottenham host Manchester City on Saturday aiming to go top of the Premier League. For a few hours before the international break, Spurs went top, and victory at home would send them into first place overnight.
The two top profile football bosses have faced off in Clasicos and Manchester derbies before with Guardiola getting the best of their recent encounters. With Raheem Sterling picking up a calf injury in England training and Nathan Ake sustaining a hamstring issue with the Netherlands, Man City suffered a potentially devastating international break.
The return of record scorer Sergio Aguero, who has recently suffered from a hamstring injury but used the international break to get back up to speed, may also improve City. After recent injury concerns, Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho have both used the international break to gain fitness, but this match could come too fast for anyone to be thrust right into the starting lineup.
There is also uncertainty regarding Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was part of the Ukrainian squad put into quarantine by the Swiss authorities ahead of their postponed international meeting after a positive test.
Spurs, meanwhile, after he tested positive for coronavirus when abroad with the Republic of Ireland, will be without Matt Doherty. After doctors declared him not fit enough to feature, Steven Bergwijn was sent home from Netherlands service, but Spurs are optimistic he will be in contention for this match. Also closing in on a comeback from a foot injury is Erik Lamela, while Tanguy Ndombele is available after a similar problem of his own.
The 10 losses to Guardiola-led teams by Mourinho are more than any other manager ever endured, and Guardiola himself has defeated Manuel Pellegrini more often as an opposing coach. However with Tottenham flying high and hoping that they could mount a real title challenge this season only one year after falling 40 points off.
Six of the next seven league games for Tottenham come against teams who finished last season in the top eight-Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Leicester City, and Wolves while in that spell they will have to play three Europa League games and an EFL Cup quarter-final.
This is the hardest challenge so far for Tottenham and the beginning of a stern series of fixtures. So far, City has not been good either though. Guardiola’s side has won just three of their seven outings, losing nine of the 21 points open to them to find themselves 10th in the league.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup: Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Bale, Lo Celso, Son; Kane
Manchester City possible starting lineup: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Torres, Jesus, Foden