Spurs defender Kevin Wimmer targets another shut-out against Sergio Aguero and Man City
Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since replacing Jan Vertonghen – and he is aiming to keep it that way as he prepares to face Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s title showdown at Manchester City.
Vertonghen suffered knee ligament damage 15 minutes from the end of Spurs’ 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace on January 23, with summer signing Wimmer coming off the bench to make his first top-flight appearance for the Lilywhites.
Tottenham are yet to concede a league goal since then, going on to beat Norwich 3-0 before securing a 1-0 home win over Watford on Saturday, taking Spurs up to second place in the table.
Wimmer admits he has had a “dream” start to life in the Premier League, but he is aware that his next challenge is a big one as he prepares to line up against Aguero at the Etihad Stadium.
The City striker has scored 18 goals in 25 games for his club this season, including nine in his last nine matches.
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But Wimmer faced Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski during his time in Germany with Cologne so he knows what to expect – and he is drawing confidence from the fact that Tottenham have the best defensive record in the league.
“It’s always a good feeling for a defender – especially for centre-backs – when you get a clean sheet and you win,” he said.
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“For me it’s really a dream because I came on at Crystal Palace and we won the game. Then we won against Norwich and conceded no goals, and we conceded no goals on Saturday and also got the win.
“Together with Toby [Alderweireld] and Eric Dier and Mousa [Dembele], we try to defend as a unit and everyone helps each other. I think we did that very well against Norwich and Watford.
“Of course, Aguero is one of the best strikers in the world and we will try not to give him space. It’s never easy to defend against a striker like this over the whole 90 minutes, but when we get chances against Man City we have to score and it’s also possible that we’ll win there.”
Wimmer continued: “With strikers like Lewandowski or Aguero, maybe over the course of the 90 minutes you think ‘they are not so dangerous today’, but they only need one action in the game to score, and that always shows the big quality they have.
“I think it’s like that with Aguero. You always have to be careful, you always have to mark him well and defend well over the whole 90 minutes because when he gets one opportunity the chance is very high that he will score. I think that’s the big difference with strikers like this – that they only need one chance to score.”
Manchester City are the only team in the Premier League with a better home record than Spurs, having won nine of their 13 games at the Etihad and scored 34 goals in the process.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are yet to beat any of the teams that currently sit in the top six places – and they suffered a 3-1 home defeat to leaders Leicester City on Saturday, enabling Tottenham to leapfrog them and claim second spot.
Wimmer said: “I think it’s not that bad that they lost because now they have big pressure – they are behind us, they know they have to win.
“It’s not going to be easy for them and I think we will do everything, we will try everything and do our best to get these three points. We know it’s a very important game for both teams and it’s going to be a big fight.
“I think we’re also one of the best teams in the Premier League so there’s no team we should be worried about, because we know what we can do and we’re also in a very good mood at the moment.
“Of course it’s going to be a very tough game for us. It’s never easy to play away against such big teams. But we will try our best again and we will work hard over the whole 90 minutes and see what’s possible.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs