Tottenham will play their first game at their new stadium against Crystal Palace on the 3rd of April if the test events scheduled for later this month go ahead without any glitches. They will then play Manchester City at the venue on the 10th of April, which will be the first Champions League game played at the new ground.
Given the form that Pep Guardiola’s men are in at the moment, beating them over two legs will be an extremely tough challenge. However, football pundit Ian McGarry reckons that the fact that it will be Spurs’ first big game at their new venue could work in their advantage.
McGarry said that given Man City enjoy playing at Wembley, the move to the new stadium comes at the right time for Spurs. He also said that he expects the home fans to create a raucous atmosphere.
Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast, McGarry said, “It’s interesting that Tottenham Hotspur are due to open their new stadium two days before, or probably three days if it’ll be a Saturday game put back against Brighton, before they entertain Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final.
“Now, what effect that will have is something random. Because let’s face it, Wembley’s been their home for the last 18 months, more than that, 19 months. Manchester City are very comfortable playing at Wembley.
“If it indeed is the new stadium against City then that will again be a factor.
“These are the factors which make it such an interesting tie. As far as I know Spurs are fully expecting to take possession of the stadium after two safety tests are completed in the next two weeks and then they have a dressed rehearsal, if you like, against Brighton as their first game there.
“So City will have to go into a stadium they’ve never played at against what I suspect will be a raucous and absolutely committed crowd for a quarter-final. So that will be in itself something to look forward to, but also a factor in what the result is over the two legs.”
Despite the issues City will face, the broadcaster still backed Guardiola’s men to overcome Spurs over two legs.
He added, “Personally I think City will be too strong. We know that Manchester City’s owners are desperate for a Champions League win.
“Pep’s been talking it down and playing it down because he doesn’t want to put pressure on his players and, as I’ve said, where they are in the Premier League title race will dictate how they’re gonna approach the game.
“But I suspect very much that what we’ll see is the kind of game we saw Liverpool vs City last season at this same juncture, when Liverpool took City apart over two legs in the quarter-finals.
“But what I mean by that is the spectacle, not the result. I think City will have learned their lesson about that because Spurs are different proposition.They are a counter-attacking team when they want to be, but they will also try and share possession with City.”
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