Tottenham Hotspur square off against Manchester City in the Premier League on Thursday evening with their top-four hopes having hit the rocks in recent times but manager Antonio Conte is adamant they’ve got the mentality to turn things round.
Spurs were blitzed 2-0 in the north London derby by Arsenal at the weekend, as the current gulf in class between the sides became apparent, and they now lie five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United – who also have a game in hand.
The Arsenal loss prompted plenty of introspection and sparked the latest set of rumours about Conte’s time in charge, yet the Italian won’t be throwing in the towel on their Champions League ambitions just yet.
“When I am here, you speak always about the mentality, but you don’t consider other aspects,” Conte said this week. “We will try to improve, but if it is only about mentality then we can solve the situation – because the mentality of this team is really strong, believe me. Usually when you lose the game it means that the opponent is shown to be stronger than you. It can happen, in a game like against Arsenal, that their goalkeeper was the best player on the pitch and we lost. In my opinion, the performance was good.”
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the clash:
When is Manchester City vs Tottenham?
The match will kick off at 8pm BST on Thursday 19 January.
Is Manchester City vs Tottenham on TV and is there a live stream?
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports HDR with coverage starting at 7pm BST. If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
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What’s the team news?
Pep Guardiola declared that John Stones and Ruben Dias are both in contention to start at centre-back after recovering from injuries, although the length of Dias’ absence means he may be more likely to come off the bench. Kevin De Bruyne also missed training this week but Guardiola confirmed that was merely due to a personal issue and doesn’t affect his availability.
Phil Foden has been struggling for form since the World Cup, so Jack Grealish may be preferred to flank Erling Haaland from the off, with Riyad Mahrez seemingly best placed to start on the other side.
Rodrigo Bentancur hasn’t played since the World Cup due to a groin injury but will be straight back into the Tottenham starting XI if fit, while Dejan Kulusevski made his return against Arsenal and looked bright, so is also in line to start. Harry Kane needs just two goals to bring up 200 in the Premier League and to leapfrog Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ all-time top scorer.
Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish
Tottenham XI: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Kulusevski, Kane, Son
Manchester City: 1/3
Spurs look in disarray at the minute and while Man City have been stuttering in recent matches, the magnitude of the game and the necessity of a result should focus their minds. City to win and Haaland to get back on track. Man City 3-1 Spurs.