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Harry Kane v Nicolas Otamendi: The key battle when Tottenham face Manchester City
Last Updated: 10/04/18 5:17pm
Will Harry Kane get the better of Nicolas Otamendi when Tottenham host Manchester City, live on Sky Sports on Saturday? We examine the stats behind the key battle.
Harry Kane continues his quest for a third successive Golden Boot against Manchester City on Saturday evening. However, City arrive at Wembley with not only the best attack in the Premier League this season, but also the fewest goals conceded. Nicolas Otamendi has been a key part of that impressive defensive record.
Manchester City's defensive record - Premier League 2017/18
|Man City||Total||PL rank|
|Shots on target faced||74||1st|
This is set to be the fifth time Kane and Otamendi have faced each other in Premier League action, with Tottenham winning twice, drawing once and losing once, with the Spurs striker scoring twice, albeit with one of those goals coming from the penalty spot.
Nicolas Otamendi influence - Premier League 2017/18
|Otamendi||Total||Man City rank|
Kane goes into the weekend trailing Mohamed Salah by five goals in the race for the Golden Boot, with 24 compared to 29 for the Liverpool forward. But should he end the season trailing Salah, it will not be due to lack of effort - Kane has taken the most shots (164) and the most shots on target (67) this season.
Looking further back, only twice in the last 10 seasons have any players averaged more shots per 90 minutes than Kane in the current campaign. Since 2008/09, former Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are the only two players to exceed Kane's average of 5.79 shots per 90 minutes.
Most shots per 90 minutes - last 10 PL seasons
Kane was restricted to a below-par three attempts with only one on target when Tottenham visited the Etihad Stadium in their 4-1 defeat in December, and Otamendi will hope he is kept similarly quiet on Saturday.
That would allow the Argentine to concentrate on the other impressive aspect of his game - the ability to pass the ball out successfully from the back.
His 86 successful passes per 90 minutes is the highest average of any player in the last 10 Premier League seasons. Looking at the leading player in that category in each of those seasons, it is notable Otamendi is the only defender, with the previous leaders all midfield playmakers.
Most successful passes per 90 minutes - last 10 PL seasons
As well as successful passes, Otamendi also leads the way for most touches in the division this season, with 3,244 to his name going into the weekend. He is well on course to set a new Premier League record (since Opta began compiling such data in 2003-04) for most touches of the ball in a season.
That record currently stands at 3,459 touches, set by Denilson when playing for Arsenal in 2008-09. Given his current 90-minute average, and should he play in all of City's six remaining games, Otamendi is on course to have over 3,800 touches this season.
Most touches in a PL season since 2003/04
But Otamendi's primary focus against Tottenham on Saturday will be dealing with the threat of Kane, and helping City edge closer to the Premier League title.
Watch Tottenham v Manchester City live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm on Saturday