Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Players Set to Shine Bright in EPL Clash

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Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Players Set to Shine Bright in EPL Clash
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

All eyes will be on super sub Edin Dzeko and star striker Carlos Tevez inside of Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and rightfully so. Dzeko has scored three of his five goals as a late substitute for Roberto Mancini's side, while Tevez is the squad's second-leading goal scorer and leading assist man. 

But as two of the Premier League's best, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, get set to square off for the first time this season, there are some other names you must be on the look out for. 

Let's take a closer look at a trio of players who'll shine bright in this weekend's epic EPL clash.

 

Jermain Defoe, Tottenham Hotspur

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The 30-year-old forward is the Premier League's all-time top-scoring substitute with 20 goals. He is also coming off a UEFA Europa League match against NK Maribor in which he recorded a hat trick. 

Defoe's five goals in 10 Premier League matches this season are the most of any Tottenham player. His speed and world class finishing ability will take center stage on Sunday inside Etihad. Another huge factor is City's struggling back line of defense. Through 10 Premier League matches this season, Robert Mancini's side has surrendered nine goals, compared to 29 goal allowed in 38 matches in 2011-12.

Defoe will have several opportunities to put Tottenham ahead on Sunday. It's only a matter of whether he cashes in on them.

 

Yaya Toure, Manchester City

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Veteran midfielder Yaya Toure has started all 10 Premier League matches for City and is one of the club's most lethal scorers and best at drawing fouls. 

Although the 29-year-old Ivory Coast international hasn't scored for City since early September, he won't need to in order to shine on Sunday. With Tottenham expected to be without midfielder Mousa Dembele, after he was ruled out for Thursday's Europa League contest, space and time on the ball should come even easier for the gifted Toure in midfield.

Toure is an elite talent when it comes to getting forward with the ball, but on Sunday he'll have even less resistance when he earns possession at midfield. In that case, he's a lock to shine. 

 

Clint Dempsey, Tottenham Hotspur

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As already mentioned, City has had some issues keeping the ball out of their own net this season compared to last year's Premier League title run. And therefore American Clint Dempsey will have a chance to become the hero away from White Hart Lane for Spurs.

Dempsey has scored twice for Tottenham in seven appearances this fall, and only Gylfi Sigurdsson has attempted more shots in fewer matches for Spurs than the former Fulham forward. 

The key for Dempsey is his versatility up top. He has enough size to make plays and score goals in the air, can score gritty goals in the box and can also possess the ball long enough to use his touch from long distance. City goalkeeper Joe Hart has conceded 18 goals in 14 appearances for the club this season, and that number could easily grow on Sunday thanks to Dempsey.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.

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