- Manchester City – Tottenham, 21:00 Thursday
On Thursday, Tottenham will be waiting at home for Erling Braut Haaland and his team mates. With eight points clear of league leaders Arsenal, City must win. Manager Pep Guardiola introduced this afternoon at a press conference in Manchester.
On the poor stats — with two straight losses and only one shot on goal — he says:
– The reason is that the flow was not as good as usual. Sometimes you need a good building game. We must deploy the defensive lines. But yeah, we struggled in the last two games.
The ‘shot on goal’ was Jack Grealish’s header as City lost 2-1 in the Manchester derby on Saturday.
Indeed, it has been four games since Erling Braut Haaland scored. The last time that happened was against Everton on New Year’s Eve. In addition, he had very few touches on the ball.
But Guardiola dismisses any suggestion that the image may be starting to crack, and that he is not tailor-made for the City side after all. The Manchester Evening News, a local newspaper, wrote that the manager had “defended Haaland” at the press conference.
– We played very well with him. To play better, we must give him and the other attackers as many balls as possible. This is what we have to work on, points out Guardiola.
For the record: the Norwegian is still the Premier League’s top scorer with 21 goals.
But eight points for Arsenal would be great. The Tottenham game will be important. The city could not afford to lose any more land.
– If you are late, you cannot lose points. We can’t think of anything but winning the next game. Guardiola says: We’ve been in this situation many times before.
Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne missed training on Tuesday, which sparked speculation in England.
– There were personal reasons for that, says Guardiola, who stated that the Belgian was back again and available for the Tottenham game.
John Stones and Robin Dias are also back after injuries. Fifth-placed Tottenham are as desperate as City to get three points.
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