Record-breaker Guardiola relishes Spurs test

Pep Guardiola's hunger to make history with Manchester City remains undiminished after his side became the first in the history of the English top flight to win 15 successive games.

“Tottenham, with Chelsea, is the best team in the way to play football. They don't expect the other ones (to take the initiative) -- they want to make their own game. It is another amazing test for us,” said Guardiola.   -  AFP

Pep Guardiola's hunger to make history with Manchester City remains undiminished after his side became the first in the history of the English top flight to win 15 successive games.

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City reached the milestone with a ruthless 4-0 victory at Swansea City on Wednesday, which preserved its massive 11-point lead at the Premier League summit.

It will face a sterner test on Saturday at home to a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur, but Guardiola is relishing the prospect of facing a rival team whose approach to the game chimes with his own.

"Tottenham, with Chelsea, is the best team in the way to play football," Guardiola said.

FORM GUIDE

There is little new to say about City's incredible 2017-18 form, with a 4-0 thumping of Swansea City last time out breaking a series of four 2-1 victories on the spin - three of which came thanks to late winners.

Spurs had a wobble in November, but have recovered with three wins out of four games in all competitions so far in December, a 1-1 draw at Watford on December 2 the only time they have dropped points this month.

Their last three successive victories have all come at their temporary Wembley home, however, with Spurs winning only one of their last six away games in all competitions - a 2-1 Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund that was inspired by Dele Alli.

"They don't expect the other ones (to take the initiative) -- they want to make their own game. It is another amazing test for us. It is every three days. After Tottenham it is Leicester in the Carabao Cup, so there is not too much time to recover.

"But we are ready to face them and try to keep that level we have shown in the last period."

City's win at Swansea made it the first team in the history of English league football to have won 15 games in a row and it now has new milestones in sight.

Beat Spurs at the Etihad Stadium and Guardiola will match his longest run of successive league wins with the great Barcelona team he led to a La Liga and Champions League double in 2010-11.

City vs Spurs last 5 PL encounters

Tottenham vs Manchester City0-1
Tottenham vs Manchester City4-1
Manchester City vs Tottenham1-2
Tottenham vs Manchester City2-0
Manchester City vs Tottenham2-2

 

He would then be just three wins off the overall record for Europe's top five leagues, which he also set -- a 19-game winning streak with Bayern Munich in 2013-14.

City's relentless form, and the spellbinding quality of its football, has led some observers to suggest it could be the finest team England has ever seen.

But far from dreading the trip to the Etihad, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will savour it.

'Harry Kane team'

After four league games without a win, Spurs has won on its last two outings, crushing Stoke City 5-1 and beating Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0.

Premier League form guide

Victory over Brighton on Wednesday took Spurs back into the top four and Pochettino says he and his players will travel to the northwest in buoyant mood.

"We're going to Manchester thinking we can win," said the Argentinian, whose team came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at City last season.

"We're going to enjoy it, because it's a fantastic challenge to play against Manchester City. They're the best team in England and one of the best in Europe.

 

"I'm so excited to play, because I love to play against teams and managers like Guardiola, that are the best. I'm so motivated and so happy that we are going to play a team at their best."

Relations between the two managers were not as cordial in October, after Pochettino took exception to Guardiola's description of his side as "the Harry Kane team".

Pochettino branded the comments "disrespectful", but Guardiola said the Spurs manager had "made a mistake" in his interpretation of the remark.

Kane, who found the net twice against Stoke, needs to score four more goals to beat Alan Shearer's 1995 record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year.

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Dele Alli will expect to be recalled after starting the win over Brighton on the bench, but Toby Alderweireld remains injured and Davinson Sanchez is suspended.

Sergio Aguero impressed on his return to City's starting XI at Swansea, scoring a slick solo goal to seal victory, and will hope to keep his place against Spurs.

Kyle Walker and Leroy Sane are both expected to return to the starting line-up, having watched the Swansea game from the bench.

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