Spurs won a first league game in five attempts at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last time out.
Witnessed by a vociferous set of supporters, clearly delighted to be shot of Wembley, Pochettino’s men disposed of Crystal Palace with minimum fuss.
Prior to that, Spurs lost to Liverpool, Southampton, Chelsea, and Burnley in recent games, as well as dropping points in a 1-1 against Arsenal.
Not the form-lines you want going in to a Champions League quarter-final.
Things look a touch better in Europe for Tottenham. Patchy group stage performances were put to bed with a resounding 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16.
They needed an 85th minute equaliser against Barcelona to make it as far as that Dortmund fixture – only qualifying ahead of Inter Milan owing to their scoring an away goal in their head to head record.
Progress to this point for Manchester City has been relatively plain sailing.
That’s not to say they’ve not had moments of European adversity.
A 10-2 winning aggregate over Shalke 04 obscures the fact that up until the 85th minute in the first leg, City were staring at a deficit being brought back to Manchester.
Then Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling struck. From a position of strength, City eviscerated Shalke at the Etihad 7-0.
While Guardiola’s English champions topped their group, they emerged from their two games against Lyon with just one point.
Those games could be interpreted as warning signs and question marks regarding their European pedigree. Whether or not Spurs are in a position to ask these questions remains to be seen.
In terms of City’s domestic form, 13 straight wins says it all.
All in all, they’ve not being overly tested domestically. Chelsea were the last top-6 side to play City. The six goals without reply was emphatic.
The new stadium factor certainly needs to be respected here.
I was listening to league updates on the radio last week, the presenter goes from one stadium to the next getting the latest and so on.
When it went to Spurs’ first home game against Palace I was genuinely landed by the volume coming through the wireless. Surely Tottenham have taken the lead so.
No, it was 0-0, and 60,000 were just that happy with their environs.
That will give Harry Kane et al a genuine push and it’s one I’m taking in to consideration.
Mauricio on tomorrow's match:
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 8, 2019
Beyond the crowd let’s look at the more material indicators.
City have a far stronger record in terms of head to heads. They’ve won the last three, and on each occasion Spurs have conceded early in the first half (6′, 22′, and 14′ mins).
Therein lies Tottenham’s task. Stay in the game in the first half, look to establish an aggregate lead in the second.
Man City will likely have the majority of the ball, Tottenham will do well to not give them all of it.
That’s the danger against a Guardiola side. Give them an inch, they can take the tie.
Provided Pochettino can apply a game plan that regularly disrupts the plan of his opposite number, I see an upset on the cards in London.
Tottenham will have to do without the injured Eric Dier, Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela. Fernando Llorente is available after recovering from a concussion.
Claudio Bravo is a long term absentee, while Oleksander Zinchenko and Fabian Delph have recently picked up knocks that rule them out. Crucially, Sergio Aguero may still recover from a muscle injury that ruled him out of City’s FA Cup win over Brighton.
For my money, I see Spurs prospering if they can shut Man City out in the first half.
On that basis, 3/1 about a Tottenham home win looks excellent value.
A shorter option is to back Spurs at +1 at 10/11.
As a longer shot, I like the Half Time/Full Time bet of Draw – Tottenham at 8/1.