Tuesday 15 October 2019

Pochettino expects Manchester City to ‘fight’ for Premier League crown

Spurs ended City’s quadruple bid on Wednesday night.

Mauricio Pochettino knows Manchester City will be striving to win the league after their European exit (Martin Rickett/PA)
Mauricio Pochettino knows Manchester City will be striving to win the league after their European exit (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is determined to further derail Manchester City’s season when the two clubs meet again on Saturday – but he acknowledges how tough it will be.

Spurs ended City’s quadruple bid when they sealed a dramatic away-goals win in the Champions League on Wednesday night and they could deliver a massive blow to their Premier League title hopes in the lunchtime kick-off.

City boss Pep Guardiola has previously said his side need to win all of their remaining games if they are to retain their title and they will go back to the top of the pile if they beat Spurs.

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Guardiola believes the hurt from Wednesday’s extraordinary game will serve as motivation, but Pochettino has denied City will be out for revenge.

“Not revenge,” he said. “For sure, they are going to move on like us from the Champions League to the Premier League.

“They are going to fight for a massive thing which is to win the Premier League and the principal challenge is to win the Premier League for them.”

Spurs cannot sit back and bask in the glory of reaching their first ever Champions League semi-final, where they will meet Ajax, as they are embroiled in their own top-four battle.

They are three points better off than sixth-placed Manchester United, with Arsenal and Chelsea in between, as the race for Champions League football looks like going down to the wire.

They could have perhaps done without such a hasty return to the Etihad Stadium as they are crippled by injuries in key areas, with Harry Kane and Harry Winks definitely out, while Moussa Sissoko looks unlikely to recover from the groin injury he picked up in midweek.

“Now for us we need to think that we must be in the top four next season and that is our challenge and it is going to be tough,” Pochettino said.

“It is made difficult as our circumstances are not the best. They have nearly all players fit and we need to assess players.

“We will miss some players that are so important and we need to think how we are going to mix.

“But for sure we need to be sure that we are going to be ready to fight them and challenge them and it will be tough.

“They are not going to fight for revenge. Of course they will try to win the game as they need the three points like us.”

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