EMMANUEL Adebayor believes the wheels could come off Manchester City's title challenge when they lose Yaya Toure for the African Nations Cup in the new year.
City have enjoyed a near faultless start to their Premier League campaign, losing just once in their opening 17 matches to open up a two-point gap on Manchester United at the top of the table.
Roberto Mancini has rotated his squad on a regular basis, but Yaya Toure has been one of the few to maintain a regular place in the starting XI thanks to his tireless displays in midfield.
However, Mancini will have to do without the former Barcelona man for up to a month next year as he heads to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to take part in the African Nations Cup along with his brother and City team-mate, Kolo Toure.
And Adebayor, who is on loan at Spurs from City, thinks losing both players will be a big challenge he hopes Spurs can take advantage of.
"They have two players going to the African Nations Cup," he said. "We will have to wait and see (how they cope).
"City have a great team, a great spirit, and at the moment they are playing good football, but if they got a couple of injuries I think it would be very difficult for them."
The tournament takes place from January 21 to February 12, during which time City face Spurs, Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa, while both players will also miss the game against Wigan on January 16 due to the Ivory Coast's training camp.
Chelsea will lose Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, while Arsenal will be without Gervinho, Alex Song and Emmanuel Frimpong.
Cameroon's failure to qualify and Togo's ban means that Spurs will not lose any of their players, leaving Adebayor buoyant about his side's title chances .
"We will have everyone here when the African Nations Cup is on," the 27-year-old said. "Now we just have to hope that all our players come back fit very soon because we have Lennon out for a couple of weeks maybe.
"We just have to keep doing our thing, keep enjoying ourselves, and if we get all our players fit we can expect something."