The respective moods at Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are on opposite ends of the spectrum as the two sides prepare to face each other at Wembley on Monday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side stole the British media with a thoroughly excellent display at Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday evening.
The Citizens were typically free-flowing and imperious in Ukraine, but Tottenham were unable to express a similar level of dominance against Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.
A late sucker punch from Luuk de Jong symbolically represented a decisive knockout blow as they sit 5 points adrift of Inter Milan with just three fixtures left to play.
But domestically the Lilywhites have been grinding out results this season and their European disappointment will not determine the outcome of their clash against the champions on Monday night.
Ahead of the eagerly anticipated fixture, Sky Sports pundits Phil Thompson, Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas were asked whether they’d rather have Christian Eriksen or David Silva in their starting eleven, and all four pundits selected the City maestro.
All four lavished praise on Silva for what he has brought to City since he signed for the club in 2010, but it was Thompson who expressed the greatest admiration for El Mago.
‘Silva all day long, I do not think anybody in this position, No 10 or whatever you want to call it, is as good as Silva is.
‘He’s a delight to watch, he’s creative but works hard for the team as well and he’s one of the best players we have ever had playing in the Premier League, especially in that position.
‘Eriksen’s a good player but to me it’s a no-brainer.’
There is no doubt that Eriksen is worthy of being regarded as one of the best playmakers in Europe, but Silva is simply a class above.
The Citizens faithful have been treated to a unique footballing delight in the last eight years and the frightening thing is that Silva is showing little sign of easing up at 32-years-old.
Having never relied on pace in the final-third, Silva’s intelligence and ability to consistently outwit his opponent represents the cornerstone of his success, and that ability is unlikely to elude him anytime soon.
Eriksen is a raw talent who Tottenham are lucky to have at their disposal but in truth he is a level below the Spanish magician, so Thompson is absolutely right to describe his decision as a ‘no-brainer’.
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