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CHRIS SUTTON: Rookie Ryan needs a tactical masterclass to defeat Pep Guardiola

It’s 29-year-old rookie Ryan Mason against Pep Guardiola, possibly the best manager of our generation.

It is David v Goliath and most of us expect there will be only one winner of those who compete against each other. But even Achilles were as strong as his heel.

Tottenham must believe they can advance to this Carabao Cup final and expose any weaknesses in Guardiola’s Manchester City team. That is of course not easy. Many more experienced managers have tried and failed.

Ryan Mason faces a David v Goliath situation as he prepares Spurs for the Carabao Cup final

Ryan Mason faces a David v Goliath situation as he prepares Spurs for the Carabao Cup final

Tottenham takes on the ruthless Manchester City in the showpiece at Wembley

But sleep deprivation Mason said at Friday’s press conference that they spent hours doing extensive homework for their opponents.

It will be intriguing to see what tactical plan he comes up with. Mason will have spent so much time studying for his UEFA Pro license. Now here is the ultimate challenge.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur beat City to top the Premier League rankings in November. It was a performance of pure tactical discipline. Spurs had only 34 percent possession, two shots on target, but won 2-0.

Mason, 29, must decide how to use Harry Kane if the attacker passes a late fitness test

Will we see Mason’s Tottenham try to repeat that trick? Or will they look to get a hold of City more? Mason has a huge cry for Harry Kane. We all remember what happened in the 2019 Champions League final against Liverpool. Kane was rushed back and things were not going well.

Do you start with a 50 percent fit Kane? A 75 percent fit Kane? Can he run comfortably, turn comfortably, shoot comfortably? Would Mason be brave enough to tell his attacker he’s on the couch if he didn’t feel like it was right? Tottenham are allowed to use five substitutes, remember, so that might be where Kane makes the best impact.

PREDICTION SCORE: 3-0 to Manchester City.

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