Antonio Conte has said that Tottenham have to use the limited possession they will have against Manchester City effectively and try to hurt the Premier League Champions.
While Spurs go into the clash against City on the back of three straight losses in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s men are riding high on confidence after demolition Sporting Lisbon 5-0 in midweek.
Tottenham desperately need a result to keep pace with the team’s above them in the race for a top-four finish and Guardiola has said that his side expects a tough test this evening (Sky Sports).
Conte admitted that his players know that they will have to ‘suffer’ for large parts of the encounter and that the home side will monopolise possession of the ball.
The Italian stated that Spurs needed to be ‘tactically perfect’ to come away with a result from the Etihad.
When asked about the challenge of facing off against another elite manager in Guardiola, the Spurs boss told Football.London: “For sure, it’ll be an interesting game for us. But I don’t think that it’s right to consider it a special game because there is the best coaches in the world [in the dugouts].
“It’s a game between two teams, one team that’s maybe the best in the world and almost perfect. They’re in a fantastic period of form. That’s one side. On the other side is a team trying to build something important for the future.
“At this moment, two different levels. At the same time, we prepared the game very well. We know that tomorrow we’re going to suffer. We know very well that problem tomorrow, like in every game, Manchester City will keep the ball for 70-80 per cent. But at the same time in the other 20 per cent, we have to be good, be effective, attack in the right way.
“When they have the ball, be compact and tactically perfect. If you want a good result against Manchester City at the moment, you have to be perfect at the moment. You have to know you have to suffer as a team, to find the situations to try to hurt them.”
Conte also lavished praise on the team that his opposite number has built at City.
When asked how far away Spurs are from reaching City’s level, the 52-year-old responded: “It’s difficult to answer this question. We’re talking about a fantastic team. They’re working with the same coach for many years. They have the possibility to, also in these years, go into the market and spend a lot of money.
“For sure, Pep is doing a fantastic job but in every club that he trained he had fantastic results. Important clubs, because Barcelona is an important club, Bayern Munich is an important club, now Manchester City is an important club but for sure great compliments to him, because to play against his team is not simple, not easy for anyone.
“I think they’re the best favourite to win the Premier League, to be ahead 10 means in this league you’re very very strong. Also in the Champions League, you have seen their last game, to go away and win 5-0 against Sporting Lisbon means you are a perfect team, in your hands.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Even with Dier back, it is difficult to see us keeping a clean sheet at the Etihad. One would expect City to score at least a couple of goals. So, we have to look to hurt them on the counter-attack when we get the opportunity to do so if we are to come away with anything from the game.
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