Tottenham Hotspur are relishing the prospect of testing their credentials against Premier League leaders Manchester City and the north London club are confident of winning Saturday’s away encounter (7.30pm), manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.
Tottenham fell to seventh after winning just one league game in November but have since recovered with a morale-boosting Champions League victory over Apoel Nicosia, followed by two consecutive domestic wins to climb back into the top four.
City, meanwhile, are currently on a record-breaking 15-game winning streak in the league and 18 points ahead of Tottenham but Pochettino is confident his side can end that dominant run.
“I am so positive. I am a positive person. I am happy for the three points. What happens on Saturday, who knows? We go to Manchester to try to win. Football is football,” Pochettino said.
“In the last week, we have got three wins, and that is so important for us. We now feel we can stay higher in the table. There is a long way to go in the season and anything can happen.
“We are going to enjoy the game, as it is a fantastic challenge to play Manchester City. They are the best team in England, and one of the best teams in Europe. I am so excited to play in these games.”
Midfielder Erik Lamela started his first game for Tottenham since October 2016 in the midweek win over Brighton and Pochettino has backed the Argentina international to have a positive impact on the team’s performance.
“I think it is so important, he brought fantastic energy to the team and the last few weeks too,” Pochettino told reporters.
“It’s normal and he needs time to give his best. I think it’s so important for the team to have him fit again and I think he’s going to help us a lot.”
Should Tottenham get a positive result on Saturday, second-placed Manchester United will have the chance to cut the gap at the top when they visit West Bromwich Albion on Sunday (4.15pm).
United bounced back from losing 2-1 to City last Sunday by beating Bournemouth 1-0 on Wednesday and should fancy their chances against a West Brom side who haven’t won in the league since August 19 and who failed to score in each of the three matches new manager Alan Pardew has been in charge.
Third-place Chelsea sit 14 points adrift of City and host Southampton on Saturday (5pm), while fifth-placed Liverpool travel to Bournemouth on Sunday (6.30pm).