The tables have turned as City are the ones who must claw back the deficit as the festive season approaches. Tottenham Hotspur travel to the Etihad looking to reignite a promising campaign which has hit the buffers in recent weeks.
Ahead of the clash, MEN Sport has profiled the latest City headlines, which includes a swipe at a current Guardiola star
Souness slams Grealish
Graeme Souness has ripped into Jack Grealish for his underwhelming start to the campaign. In his latest Daily Mail column, the Liverpool legend has reignited a feud with Grealish, having previously claimed his playing style slows City down.
No coach would tell a player to linger on the ball like Grealish does and that is why hes found himself out of the team, Souness seethed. They paid 55million for Doku, a little over half of the 100m they paid for Grealish. That shows you the premium there is on Premier League players. There are no bargains to be had in England, they are overvalued.
And if youre City, spending 100m, its not for a squad player. Its for someone who gets in the strongest XI and makes a difference in every game they play. Jack is not that, and Im not sure he ever will be.
He is, for me, at a crossroads in his City career. Doku is 21 years old and is only going to improve. Jack is 28. He needs to have a close look at himself. He should be in his pomp. Between 26 and 30 you have the knowledge. Youre physically and mentally stronger. He will not be getting any better. This should be his time.
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Double injury boost
John Stones and Mateo Kovacic could return to the Man City team on Sunday with Guardiola impressed by the defender&aposs fitness. Stones was initially feared to be out for a long time when he suffered a recurrence of his hip issue in the Champions League in early November yet was back on the bench against Liverpool a few weeks later.
However, Guardiola stressed after that game that while he was available and in training the England international still needed time to build his fitness levels with the club keen to avoid another injury. City also welcomed Mateo Kovacic back into training after he picked up an issue in the Chelsea game before the November international break.