Pep Guardiola has taken another swipe at rival Jose Mourinho by maintaining Tottenham and Chelsea are the only top teams that want to play football.
Guardiola did not include Manchester United as a team who believe they can impose themselves no matter what.
Leaders Manchester City can go 21 points clear of Tottenham if they beat them at the Etihad on Saturday and Guardiola said, “I think Tottenham are with Chelsea as the best team in wanting to play football.”
“They don’t expect their opponents (to force the play), they want to make their own game. It is another amazing test for us after games every three days.”
“After we have Leicester in the Carabao Cup and there is not too much time for recovery but we are ready to face them and keep that level that we show in the last period.”
Guardiola is mindful of the strain placed upon his squad and wants to add at least one defensive reinforcement next month.
City have homed in on Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk and Inigo Martinez at Real Sociedad as potential signings.
City are weighing up the merits of both. Martinez’s release clause is around £29million, while Van Dijk’s Premier League experience is appealing.
John Stones and Vincent Kompany are currently out injured which, while not impacting City so far, has highlighted the need for another body.
Meanwhile, Harry Winks has challenged his Tottenham team-mates to prove to Guardiola they are more than just the ‘Harry Kane team’ and bring an end to Manchester City’s extraordinary winning streak on Saturday.
City are looking for their 16th consecutive Premier League victory and Guardiola infuriated manager Mauricio Pochettino when he referred to Tottenham as the ‘Harry Kane team’ earlier this season.
When asked if a visit to the Etihad offers an opportunity to prove Guardiola wrong, Winks said, “Yeah, exactly. We just want to go there and win. That’s the most important thing. We know what we’re like as a team and how good we are. It’s a good place to go and set our standard and make a point.”
“We think we can go there and match them. It’s down to the manager but we’ll go in the way we always do, positive and on the front foot, try to out-possess them and outplay them. I know it’s going to be tough, they’re a good side and you have to respect them. To end their run will be a good incentive as well.”
Winks’ team-mate Danny Rose insists former colleague Kyle Walker will be treated as ‘the enemy’ when they visit City but insists that Walker merited his move to Manchester.
City bought Walker in a deal worth in excess of £50m including add-ons last summer but Rose said, “There’s no envy. He fully deserved his move. He’s the enemy this weekend. There’ll be no pleasantries until after the game.”
The match kicks off at 6:30pm Nigerian time.