All eyes will be on Emmanuel Adebayor when Tottenham face Manchester City in the English Premier League. Reuters
Manchester City will have top spot on their minds when they travel to back-in-the-groove Tottenham in the English Premier League on Wednesday.
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With Arsenal dropping two points at Southampton on Tuesday, City can go top of the table, a point clear of their nearest rivals, with victory at White Hart Lane against a resurgent Spurs. City, no doubt, have the most potent attacking force in the Premier League at the moment, which has only been reinforced following the return from injury of Sergio Aguero.
The last time the two teams met in the Premier League, City thumped Tottenham 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium, a result which proved to be the beginning of the end for Andre Villas-Boas. New manager Tim Sherwood will be determined to restore some of that lost pride when his side host the marauding City.
"They are a top side and I believe anyone finishing above City this season will be champions," Sherwood said. "Saying that, they do have weaknesses and we have to try to exploit them. They are beating every team that stands in their way but we're confident we can impose our game on them and attack them in areas they've not been attacked in a long time.
"There is no point being irresponsible in defensive areas though, we have a duty there as well so we'll be organised and hopefully we'll be able to ask them some questions. We've nothing to fear. It would be huge for us to beat City and the belief that would bring amongst the players and the fans would be great. That's what we're trying to achieve."
Spurs are on a four-match winning run, six unbeaten, at the moment and Manuel Pellegrini will know his City side cannot expect to run over Tottenham in a similar manner achieved last November in the reverse fixture.
"The results say that they improve a lot, they've won four games of the last five they played," Pellegrini said of Spurs. "I saw the last two games that they played and they are playing very well. I think it's always important to have a striker like they have [Emmanuel] Adebayor in a good moment and I'm sure we are going to have a tough game against them.
"It's important that I know that our team will go there and try to win the game. I think the way we played against them here was not a usual game, normally you can't score six goals against Tottenham.
"It is very difficult for me to analyse them because I cannot analyse just with the match they play against us. Andre Villas Boas did a good job but for different reasons he didn't continue there and Tim Sherwood is doing very well."
City, who are seven points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, rightly start favourites, having gone 11 matches unbeaten in the Premier League, and it will be a brave man that best against them making it 12.
Team news: Tottenham: Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen, Sandro and Paulinho are all back in training, and could feature even if Sherwood insisted he would not take any undue risks with the quartet, while Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend remain on the sidelines.
"The four lads are back in training but we have to be cautious of not rushing them back," Sherwood said. "We have to make sure they are ready. The lads are getting fitter, stronger and very soon we'll have a full squad to pick from.
"That will be huge for us. It doesn't get bigger than City and the temptation would be to put them back in, but if they are not ready, it could be counter-productive."
Manchester City: Samir Nasri is still a while away from a return, and Pellegrini will also have to do without the services of James Milner and Javi Garcia. In-form striker Alvaro Negredo, however, is fine and will be involved on Wednesday.
Key men: Tottenham: Adebayor has been a breath of fresh air at Tottenham, scoring goals, working hard and creating a few as well. The Togo international will be determined to continue his rich vein of form against his old side.
Manchester City: Pick any of the three lethal strikers at Pellegrini's disposal, with Edin Dzeko, Negredo and Aguero all capable of putting Spurs to the sword.
Expected lineups: Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose; Paulinho, Dembele; Lennon, Eriksen, Sigurdsson; Adebayor.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Aguero, Silva; Negredo.
Prediction: 4-2 to Manchester City
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