City welcome Ange Postecoglou&aposs side to the Etihad looking to reclaim top spot in the table after dropping into second last weekend. Their draw against Liverpool was followed by a late win for Arsenal, who leapfrogged both sides into first.
Tottenham and City both have their fair share of injury issues going into the weekend but Pep Guardiola is hoping to welcome back some absentees. Sunday&aposs clash kicks off a huge week in which they play three league games in a week.
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John Stones could return to the 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.
Guardiola has resisted playing Stones for any minutes since, meaning he has made just five appearances since the Community Shield. The plan is to include him as and when he is able to participate, and that could come as soon as Sunday.
“He&aposs much better, close to coming back,” said Guardiola. Asked if he would be in contention to start, he added: “He&aposll be with us, he&aposll be there.”
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Guardiola has not seen anything from Tottenham&aposs recent defeats to suggest City will have an easier test this week.
Spurs were the early leaders in the Premier League playing a bold style of football under new manager Ange Postecoglou, who won the league&aposs Manager of the Month award for the first three months of the season. However, three successive league defeats has seen a brutal end to their unbeaten run and they will arrive at the Etihad under pressure to turn their form around.
Guardiola came up against Postecoglou in a 2019 friendly when the manager was in charge of Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos, and has followed his career closely since. The City boss has watched the recent Spurs defeats looking for opportunities for the Blues to exploit, although a change in performance hasn&apost been seen despite the turn in results.